Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Fishermen

In the Gospel reading today, there was a huge crowd on the beach in the morning wanting to hear God's word.  Jesus got into one of the boats -- it was Simon's -- and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.  When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch."  Simon replied, "Master, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets."  
Well, that brought to mind an experience I had back in 2000 when I was in Jinja, Uganda at the Local Fish Market.  When I went to bed the night before I must have seen 30 lanterns shining in the dark out on Lake Victoria.  The fishermen work all night long, and use lanterns attached to their boats to attract fish.  In the morning, the reporter and I went to the Local Fish Market.  I saw this two-man rowboat on the shore, and there were four fish in it.  I thought it was beautiful, seeing the fish on the inside hull of the boat, painted a beautiful blue.  Nearby I saw these two fishermen and spoke to them.  They had been out all night long, and in the morning all they had to show for it was these four fish!  I asked if I could photograph them with their catch, and they said "yes."  I was in shock to learn how hard they had worked, and how little they had to show for it.  I wished I could have done something for them, but as a journalist I was not allowed to pay anyone in order to photograph them.  The writer, who had worked in Africa for over ten years said there was really nothing that we could do for them, other than to tell their story.  Oh, the end of the Gospel story today, was that Simon went back out in his boat, with James and John, and caught so many fish that their nets started to rip and their boat nearly sank!  But they had enough fish to feed everyone on the short.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How sad that these two fishermen worked long hours and only caught four fish. What an amazing story! betsey