Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: Seriously in need of a whale
By Helen Paynter
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Oh Lord, how I hate fishing.
Sitting for endless hours under a dull, gunmetal sky, beside a dull, gunmetal river, in the increasingly vain hope that we might catch a dull, gunmetal fish.
Couldn’t you have stopped me somehow? When I was running off at the mouth to Tom about coming to church with me? I mean, you do know the future, don’t you? You knew the one time he agreed to come there’d be a visiting speaker who looked like he’d been evicted from the mental asylum for being excessively psychopathic. And that he’d insist we hold hands and sing Kum Ba Yah. Well? Don’t you have any pride?
Oh look, Tom’s caught a boot. That’ll be the pair to the one we caught two hours ago. Now I get to watch him impaling another maggot that never did anybody any harm. I’m thinking of becoming a vegetarian. Or at least a fishitarian. No more. Never again will I pop out for fish and chips. Pan-fried sea bass? No sir. Grilled swordfish? Off the menu.
So, not only did you stand silently by while I brought Tom along to the church service from Hell – and no, that’s not rhetoric; you also allowed me to make a pact with him that I’d come fishing with him the next Sunday. Did you look at the worship rota? Didn’t you know Stuart Townend was visiting today? I could have got him to autograph my albums.
And now it’s raining. Don’t you control the weather? Don’t I get one favour? Just one? I mean, ‘Go into all the world, making disciples of all nations’. So I’m trying. Tom was to be my first stop on a mission of world evangelisation. Well, think again, Lord. No-one makes a fool out of me like this.
Oh-oh, now what? Tom’s shoulders are shaking. I expect he’s laughing at the way he’s paying me back for last week. If I wasn’t a Christian I’d sort him out.
Oh, no – he’s not laughing, he’s crying. Great, first fishing, then rain, now I get an earful of someone else’s problems. Yeah, tell me what’s wrong. Let it all out.
And Lord – couldn’t you have reminded me to pack a clean handkerchief?
He’s telling me all about his miserable life. Like I want to hear. Yeah yeah… job… girlfriend… mother… she does what? Pat arm, look concerned, sneak a look at watch.
Oh and now he asks me to explain why I’m so joyful all the time. When I’m sitting on this soggy bank, about to slide into the water. Fantastic. Some Christians get to preach in football stadiums to adoring crowds. Some Christians get to be missionaries to the surfers in California. Not me. No, I get to share the gospel with a snivelling friend on a 45 degree gradient above a piranha-infested river. Well, there’s probably something that bites down there.
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. I am not going into that miserable water and baptising him. Think again Lord. Not Jonah Weinhard. You’ve got the wrong man.
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