Quote by Ovid, “Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”
We just watched a sweet old movie, “Meet John Doe” starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. We’d seen it before and though we remembered the theme being the power of the spirit of Christmas lasting all year (brotherly kindness, neighborliness, and helping others). We did not recall a line at the end when the hero was ready to commit suicide to die for the good of humanity.
At that point the heroine cries out that he doesn’t need to die for mankind, that 2,000 years ago the original “John Doe” has already died for the sake of humanity.
The movie was a powerful example of man’s innermost need. Cooper’s character began as a poor man paid to portray a desperate protester, but came to realize how badly people wanted to hear they were created for a purpose. Thousands crowded around their radios to hear messages of patriotism, empowerment and encouragement. People of all social levels gathered when John Doe appeared, eager to hear his words and to copy his good deeds. At first “John” was reading messages prepared by someone else, but he came alive as he believed them and made the words his own.
The people’s eagerness to hear a message of hope reminded us of a sadly opposite situation at the Racine County Fair one year. We’d joined hundreds of others to hear a popular country singer. The music engaged the people but you could feel the excitement rising as the music slowed and the singer took a chair center stage. It seemed obvious he was going to speak to the people and the crowd hushed in anticipation. He picked at the guitar and didn’t speak for a bit. The crowd leaned forward expecting some personal tale or bit of wisdom, but they did not get it.
The singer seemed uncomfortable and made a couple of inane comments about the weather…pausing and picking a note or two in between. People looked at one another wondering what was wrong. The audience got restless. The musicians were introduced (almost like the singer was hoping they would speak) then he just got up and began to sing again. Sighs of confusion surrounded us. The hero had not been prepared for what the people most wanted. He had no message. Though the second half of the concert was musically as good as the beginning, it was as if the words to his songs had also lost their power. People continued to murmur in disappointment and some left.
The movie and the recollection from the fair were stark reminders of the hungry ‘fish’ of mankind – longing for connection, hope and to be noticed and validated.
I have the Bible; I know the Christmas Story, and I’ve received the gift of a spiritual relationship with the one who died for humanity. His-story is the greatest message of hope and validation there ever was or will be in the world. Am I prepared to share it on the stage of my life?
Do I go out daily prepared (my hook cast), ready to answer any who ask of the hope that is within me? Am I noticing the “hungry fish” of my world longing for truth and grace? Or do I get people to the edge of their seats expecting a good deed and then turn away and leave them hungry, cold, and longing?
Before the hook is cast it has something prepared to allure, to draw the fish. It is ready and it is actively being sent out
As I go out in all the hustle and bustle I’m reminded: For the hook to “always be cast” it has to “always be ready”.
Titus 3:1 Remind them to be …ready for every good deed
Great post. I wonder if we can be too quick to give the ‘fish’ and not take the time to teach people how to fish and be ‘fishers of men’. I wonder how different the Gospel would have been if Jesus had just given fish?