by Peggy Harris W.A.S.H. Board Chair

“Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.’ They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.” Matthew 4:19-20 “The Message”

We lived in Missouri while my husband served in the army Corps of Engineers at Fort Leonardwood shortly after the Korean War. One of the rivers near where we lived was the Big Piney River. Rivers in this part of the country are slow moving and very muddy. Not at all like the rivers we were familiar with in Washington State where you can see the rock lined bottom, clearly see the fish and watch the crystal clear rushing water flow musically by.

Fishing on the Big Piney was done in flat bottom boats at night with a lantern light to attract the fish. This was called “gigging.” The fish were caught either by spearing or nets. At nighttime we could see a number of these lighted boats as we passed by on a road.

I’ve never been a fisherman nor do I have the patience it takes to wait to reel in a fish. I’m told it’s a great stress reliever. Jesus calls us to be a fisher of people. And just as the fish in the muddy waters are attracted to the light, so when we share the light we have in Jesus, other people will naturally be attracted. That’s not hard. It’s possible for anyone to do who loves Jesus. It’s uncomplicated and doesn’t take a lot of equipment but it can require patience.

It is now the nighttime of this earth’s history. Sometimes we can even “fish” without our pole “Bible”. But we must know and carry this precious instrument in our hearts at all times. Just being kind, loving and helpful to people we meet in the muddy waters of life makes a big difference to them and for eternity as they catch the beams of the Living God into their hearts. We are called to be fishers of humans.