Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fishing with God

I've never been able to understand or accept the image some people have of an angry God. I don't remember ever being afraid of God. I've been afraid of disappointing God, but I've never worried that He would retaliate against me for making mistakes. For some reason, I've always seemed to understand that God's love for me is tender and nurturing, not stern and demanding. I know that God has disciplined me sometimes, and I've heard his voice admonishing, "Stop that!" in my head when I was doing something I shouldn't. But I knew that God wouldn't stay upset with me. He was just getting my attention so that I would stop doing harmful things, and then He would encourage and support me as I made better choices.

God is my Father and my Friend. When He convicts me of my sin, it is because He doesn't want to see me hurt myself or others. He wants me to understand that I need to come to Him for forgiveness so that I can be healthy and whole again. My spiritual well-being is what's most important to God, and He makes it the focus of our relationship. Because I know He cares about me so much, I can trust Him when I feel vulnerable. When I was young, sometimes when I was upset I would crawl into bed and imagine that I was curling up to sleep on God's lap. I knew that He would stay with me all night long and give me peaceful dreams. When I was hurt, I told Him all about it, because I knew He cared even if no one else did.

I would like to share a poem that was published in my high school's literary magazine. I don't know the author well and can't conjecture about why he wrote it. It's a simple poem, and on the surface it might even seem a little flippant, but I have always loved this poem because it resonates so strongly with my own concept of a kind, approachable God.

Fishing with God
by Teague Quillen

We walk for about a quarter mile,
and turn down a dirt road.

I try and think of questions to ask,
like where's Heaven, what's it like,
and how do I get there.

But I remain silent while we
toss a line into the stream, and
He quietly hums, "California Dreamin'."

"So," I finally mutter, "does everyone get to Heaven?"
"Just those who want to," He says as he lights his cigar,
"If they want to, they try and go, simple as that."

I return my gaze to the water, just as the Lord
hooks a smallmouth. "Nice one!" I say.
He smiles and puffs on his cigar.

He puts His hand on my shoulder,
and I hook one, too.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kayla- where did you find this poem???

Kayla Berger said...

A classmate of mine submitted it to our high school literary magazine years ago. It's never been commercially published, so that's why I wanted to post it here. I wanted to share it since it's been so personally meaningful to me.

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