The Old Fisherman

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In connection with my practice of giving you readers and listeners a foretaste of the other articles written in the other twelve sections of my website each month, I will provide you this article.  This discussion was originally prepared as part of the “Stories That Will Bless Your Heart” Section of this site.  I am sharing it with all readers without charge just to give website users an in depth preview of the type and kind of material presented throughout my website.

This expanded other material discussion is available for viewing and use by Premier Members only.  I would strongly encourage you to become a Premier Member today. Remember, Premier Members have access to all archived articles going all the way back to 2012! 

Things and People Are Not Always As They Seem To Be

Those people in life who are judgmental for no good reason or who always look for and find the bad in their life situations and acquaintances, really miss out on grand opportunities to share or give away “Random Acts of Kindness” to other people with whom they come into contact. As a consequence these type folks always miss the great and glorious rewards that always travel in tandem with those acts of kindness. Real living is giving! And the more a person gives, the more they shall indeed receive. That is God’s Law, not man’s.

How one accurately discerns the truths of life about things and people will indeed determine how blessed a life they, in fact, will live and enjoy. We live in difficult, trying, and unsafe times. I am not advocating that anyone be foolish or stupid and just go “willy-nilly” through life randomly opening themselves up to dangerous conditions or people, but I am advocating that a person should never prejudge or make predetermined decisions regarding other people and their capabilities or intentions. I have never found within the reading of my Holy Scriptures where Jesus prejudged or refused to give help to any person who openly and honestly requested or needed it.

The Holy Bible gives us some great advice,….and warning, when it says in the Book of James, Chapter 4, verse 17 NKJV:

(17) “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it,
to him it is sin.”

Now keep in mind that our God is a creative God, and He created man and woman in His own Image. He also desires that we too, as His Children, become creative and productive with the living of our lives. God gave all of us the great gift of life and His free grace to be used and applied; not just to be possessed. Just as God created man for his own good pleasure and assigned him the duties to love and serve both Himself and his fellow man and woman, He full well expects that each of us love and serve all people with whom we come into contact no matter how attractive or unattractive they appear.

Some people are much more attractive than are others; some are much more intelligent; others more physically able; some read, think, and speak better than do others….God loves them all because He created them. At their creation, initiated at the instant of their conception, He created them all for the same two-fold purpose: which was to love and commune with Him and to love and serve other people….regardless of how they appear, act, or live.

God’s Love and Grace is one-size-fits-all. His love is totally unconditional, no matter what a person has or has not done. Love is eternal which is why God is Love. True godly unconditional love never dies. Once God loves you, His love lasts forever. Man always seems to look at the external of any particular man or woman. God always looks at the internal—at the spiritual heart (the brain) of a man or woman. God created all people with a good heart and mind and desired for them all to freely love and serve their fellow man. In order to do that, one must always purpose himself to do the right and righteous things; all of which are outlined and documented within the Holy Scriptures.

I am indeed an outdoorsman. I love to hunt and fish. I own and operate a global business that serves and teaches my fellowmen and women how to succeed in life mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. So, when I came across a true story telling about a most generous, kind, and loving (albeit homely) old fisherman, I was naturally attracted to read it. I personally believe this story about life speaks volumes to the discerning ear, and definitely teaches us to pay attention to the real people who come into our lives. People learn by observation. Never forget that you and your actions may be the only Bible that some people will ever read.

A story please………………

The Old Fisherman
by Mary Bartels

“Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. We lived in the downstairs of our two-story home and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking old man.

“Why he is hardly taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.

But the appalling thing was his face—lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening, I’ve come to see if you have a room for just one night. I came to the hospital this morning from the Eastern Shore and there is no return bus until morning.”

He told me that he had been hunting for a room since noon but with no success. “I guess it is my face. I know it looks terrible but my doctor says with a few more treatments…”

For a moment I hesitated but his next words convinced me, “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.”

I told him that we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch meanwhile. Then I went inside and finished getting supper prepared. When we were ready I asked the old man if he would join us at the table

“No thank you, I have plenty,” and he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take long to see that this old man had an over-sized heart in that tiny body.

He told me that he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children and her husband who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form a skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going and to keep fishing.

At bedtime, we put up a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little old man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit—I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face but children don’t seem to mind.”

I told him he was welcome to come again. And on the next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought us a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said that he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they would be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at four a.m. and wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery: fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and how little money he had, made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after the old fisherman left that first morning, “Did you keep that awful looking old man last night? I turned him away. You can lose roomers by putting up such people.”

And maybe we did, once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family will always be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers we came to the most beautiful one of all: a golden Chrysanthemum bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, if this were my plant I’d put it in the loveliest container I had. My friend changed my mind.

“I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.”

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. “Here is an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when He came to the soul of the old fisherman.
“He won’t mind starting in this small body.”

But that’s behind now, long ago, and in God’s garden how tall this lovely soul must stand!”

Pay attention to the people who come into your life, God has a got a great plan and purpose for you both to meet and begin an exciting new relationship that, who knows, just might be the start of something really great, and….just might last forever!


Peace and Love to All of You……………………..Poppa Bear

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