A Fish Story

“There it is,” yelled a boy perched high upon the pier. An exhausting struggle by the fisherman and his fish was coming to an end. The fish surfaced and for the first time we all got a glimpse of it. It was not a prize winning marlin, but a giant manta ray – a huge saucer like fish about three feet in diameter. It had a long tail, which those nearby said produced a nasty sting.

Exhausted, it floated in the water. The waves kept beating it up against the pier. One of the men reached down, gaffed the beast, and threw it upon the pier where it flopped around in the hot, drying sun. Another took a long pole and tried to turn the creature over. But each time that was attempted, it seemed to gain new strength and resisted with a renewed savage determination. Backed up against a wall, it held its ground in the hot sun for half an hour. Wounded, bleeding, no way to escape, its will to live was eerie.

When there were no signs of life, someone took a long pole and poked the monster. It did not move. It was dead. Another grabbed it by the tail and did what no one could do while it lived, turned it over. Once over, we all stared in silence.

CONSIDER, while standing there, I thought about how that dangerous monster from the deep suddenly took on a different appearance. The fear and contempt I had for it was gone. Something, which only moments before had nothing in common with me, was now very much akin to me. Its struggle spoke to my struggle. What it held most dear was no different from what I held most dear. There, clinging to its tender underside, were its young. Her struggle to live was a struggle for her young. Her death was an attempt to save them.

What greater gift can we claim than the life Jesus gave so that we might live? May we know what it is to lay down our lives for another, as Jesus laid down His life for us.

Rev. Wendell Mettey
Revised 8/2/2014

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