"The Old Fisherman"
(by Margaux Geofferys)

1-16-2015 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #807
******************************************************

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

Visit our SOW Seeds Archives at the Church Within Web-Site! http://www.churchwithin.org/sowarchive.html

Welcome
**********
Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

*******************************************
Story of the Week
*****************
The Old Fisherman
(by Margaux Geofferys)

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs 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 man. “Why, he's 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 and scarred, red and raw.. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning.”

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it's 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 we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “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 a long time to see that this old man had an over-sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me 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; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for the blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put 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 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.”

I told him he was welcome to come again. On his next trip, he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

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 off fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me all of her flowers, I spotted 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 said to her, “If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!”

“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 when the old fisherman was born. “Here's an especially beautiful one.” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won't mind starting in this small body…

This happened long ago ­ and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

*******************************************
Pastor's Quote of the Week
************************
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
(From: Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626 )

*******************************************
The Prayer
***********
Dear God,        
        True Beauty is Within.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

Previous Story                       Next Story


Back to the Story of the Week Archive Page

Back to the Story of the Week Main Page

Back to the Church Within Home Page