14 July 2007
Norman, OK 73072, USA
items below came to me in e-mail messages in the last few days. The
first, "Going Fishing," reproduced here by permission, is a
very different kind of fish story by my student Susan Porter, a writer
for the Guthrie News Leader, from the 29
June 2007 issue of the GNL. I suppose
my personal version of it would have slightly
different events. Perhaps I'd have caught a whole school of
marlin, but missed the sign that said, "Anyone catching marlin must
divest themselves of all income sources." :^)
second, "A Newborn's Conversation with God," is from my
student Lauryn, who'll be a mom very soon. She and her software
engineer husband have recently moved to Pennsylvania to take a new job
upon leaving the Air Force. Caution: if you're a parent, or
maybe even if you're not, this one is rated at three or four tissues.
BY SUSAN PORTER
Recently, I had the opportunity to go fishing in the
ocean. I love to fish! I don't consider myself a skilled
fisherman, but from my childhood experiences, Dad taught me how to
"feel" the fish on the end of the line--and I've caught
my share of fish. And fishing is exciting because, in the ocean, you never know what kind of fish you might pull
up. Additionally, the ocean is different than the little ponds I grew
up fishing in because the waves pull at your fishing line and sometimes it
is hard to feel when the fish is actually taking the bait.
Once on the pier, I cast my line far into the water.
I looked around at the numerous fishermen to either side of me.
Everyone stood silent----looking out toward the ocean---somehow mesmerized
by the dancing white waves.
After reeling my line in several times, I
finally "felt" the rhythm of the wind and large
waves.(The man beside me gently suggested I leave
my line in the water long enough for a fish to notice the bait on
it). Minutes later, I felt something
on my line---I tugged hard. To my surprise---something BIG was
on my line. I tried to reel, but the line continued to slip and the
tip of my pole was making a serious bend toward the water. At this
point, several of the fishermen began to congregate around me and I asked
for assistance from the man beside me. After several minutes, my
great catch was brought onto the pier---but it was not the "great
fish" I had envisioned. Instead, it was a large stingray, about
the size of a small car tire! I just stood there as a fellow
fisherman removed the hook from the mouth of the stingray, and placed it
back into the water.
Isn't life like that sometimes? Just about the time we think we
are doing things according to the rules--or as planned -------something
unexpected happens. There we are---minding our own
business------fishing in this great ocean of life------seeking those things
that will bring us wealth....success....happiness-----and just about the
time we think we have found it-----we have to go through financial loss,
failing health, or the breakup of a relationship.
Fortunately, we don't have to deal with "life"
alone. We have a heavenly Father who knows our struggles---even
our disappointments. He understands them all. And yes, I
believe God gives us the desire to keep going--to not give up; to keep putting the fishing line back into the
water----However, God may also want us to realize that
all those things we may be "fishing" for, are not
capable of bringing us the true happiness we think they will.
"A Newborn's Conversation with
A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow,
but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"
God said,"Your angel will be waiting for you
and will take care of you."
The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have
to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."
God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you.
And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."
Again the child asked, " And how am I going
to be able to understand
when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"
God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words
you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will
teach you how to speak."
"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"
God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach
you how to pray."
"Who will protect me?"
God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its
"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."
God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach
you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could
be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave
now, please tell me my angel's name."
God said,"You will simply call her
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