Image. Jesus tells Peter to be “a fisher of men”. And, Peter follows His words.
Image. Jesus tells Peter to cast his nets in an area that Peter had already done so … But Peter followed His words, again, and threw his nets into the area that Jesus was referring to. Result? Peter caught some serious fish! The nets were maxed out.
Quote and image. “The (enemy) loves to fish in troubled waters.” There are times when I avoid the name(s) … for different reasons. The image. I see a silhouetted fishermen (all black) standing up in a boat, his fishing pole bent forward toward the water, the line tight, because he has caught someone .. bringing in his catch.
Quote and image. “Catch and release”. A wise man holding a fish, then removing the line, and returning the fish to the water, watching the fish swim off. Catch and release.
This morning, I went through the motions of chores, making my wife coffee, and I found myself plagued with memories of the past, along with a particular story from the news that happened several years ago. For many years I worked with kiddos (between ages 10 and 17) who were in the custody of Social Services / Human Services. Often the case was that they had been removed from their homes because of abuse (sexual / physical) due to parents and / or siblings. The stories do not completely go away from my mind; I am not completely healed from the secondary trauma I have sustained from my experience, sitting with these kiddos in a counseling office. Remembering comes back. It is sort of like what we talk about in addiction recovery. For recovering addicts / alcoholics, the importance of acknowledging relapse symptoms cannot be minimized, and one expression is powerful: “The wolves still howl.” A variation of that expression is: “The wolves still howl; maybe not as frequently, maybe not as loud, but they do … still … howl.” I think that expression applies to my disruption, even though there is not an addiction dynamic happening. Indeed, the wolves still howl.
So, when the wolves howled this morning … when the memories of these kiddos and their stories flooded back … I found myself angry. This process led me to the idea that God does not intend to “keep” everything we find. The healing is not up to us. Bringing justice to the situations … it’s not our responsibility. We are called to “release” the pain. We are not called to carry this pain with us for the rest of our lives. Not every fish we catch goes into our boat. I think … the anger will never go away. I also think that I could be very wrong about that. As I “release” those kiddos to God, who loves them, and their pain, and their stories, and the perpetrators … maybe I am called to release my anger.