Last evening while we enjoyed dinner with friends, I looked out the window toward the marina. Usually, I see boats moving at regular speeds in and out of the dock areas. This time, I saw a boat, not moving, sitting in the middle of "traffic." It caught my eye and as I looked closer I could hardly believe what I saw. There was a man being pulled up from the water! Immediately, I ran to the deck for a better view. Everyone left their dinner plate to watch the remainder of the rescue unfold.
While we stood there, we tried to guess what happened. We saw rescuers pull out a couple of people along with coolers, a backpack, an oar. There was no sign of a boat. Were they were coming back from a fishing trip, were so drunk that they jumped off, or fell off? We had no answers because we came in to the rescue scene "at the end" of the story.
This morning, when I walked out to the deck again with my morning coffee, I looked out at the same water which was now calm, quiet, void of excitement. I wondered again about the identity of those who had fallen in. While drinking my coffee, I decided, quite smugly, that those people weren't helpless - they were stupid. They shouldn't have needed rescued. They probably were drunk or rowdy or something. Oddly, my cynical assesment satisfied me. . For a moment..
A few sips of my coffee later, and the words "fisher of men" came to mind.
AH! Jesus said we are to be "fisher of men." Isn't that funny how an early Bible lesson comes to you at 5:30 in the morning when it's just you and your coffee mug?
Jesus said we are to be fishers of people, be he wasn't talking about saving drowning people.. literally.
But metaphorically, Jesus saves us who drown in sin. To follow him is to extend his saving grace to all.
Last nights rescuers didn't judge the persons like I did. When they found them, they fished them out of the 60 degree water. They didn't ask why they were in trouble before extending them a hand. They probably even wrapped a warm blanket around them.
To extend grace to the world, we must be as indiscriminating in our grace as those rescuers. After all, God's saving grace is extended to all of us, for all are in need of it.
We are all overboard.. and yet, by God's grace we are all , also, fishers of people.