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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: The Great Debait or (A Fisherman Like Him))
By Janice Fitzpatrick


While looking for the perfect fishing gift for my husband’s birthday I was overwhelmed with hundreds of choices shelved neatly. I looked at lures, spinning and casting rods, and then came upon the hooks.

Images of earlier times of my own fishing experiences came splashing in my mind like a warm current from a stream of memories I had forgotten.

It was a time, over twenty two years ago, and if anyone had seen me perched upon the bank that one hot sultry summer day, no one would have considered me a threat to the fish population.

After waiting patiently for a friend to return with crawlers, I decided to use the tiny meal like worms, that nestled themselves into the bits of dirt in a styrofoam carton I held, to maybe catch something, anything, before my friend came back.

I had tried baiting my hook years before as a youngster, but after one episode that left me with a wounded thumb and sore memories I chose to be creative this time.
I now knew the real reason why I had brought my eyebrow tweezers with me.

Digging frantically for them in my makeup bag I was filled with a mixture of emotions of both elation and dread.
I'll prove to myself that I can bait my own hook, even if it isn’t the legal way.

Yet this procedure was beginning to disgust me. I could taste my breakfast in the back of my throat as I began to work the tiny wriggling creatures onto the tip of the angled metal.

Why won’t they hold still? Alright, I can do this. I had seen women knit before.

The worms instantaneously became like strands of yarn as I held them tightly, trying to thread them through the sharp point of my hook.It was no use, the curved metal was too thick.

I gave the slimy little guys the boot and tossed them back into the confines of styrofoam and clay.
I failed again.Those words were burned into me long ago and even the rays of the sun beating upon my head didn’t seem quite as hot and penetrating as the thoughts that plagued my mind.

Beads of sweat ran down the back of my neck. I quickly rinsed my hands in the murky water and dried them on my jeans.

What was taking her so long?As I found comfort in the shade of a weeping willow tree I rested my head upon my arm.

All of a sudden it dawned on me.
Just like those worms being forced onto a hook they weren’t made for, I was trying to force myself into being someone I wasn’t.

"I love you because you are mine and made in my image. Stop trying to be something other than what I have made you for,"
Words softly spoke within my mind.

"What was I made to be Lord?"I asked."You were created to be a fisherman, like me my child." He gently remarked.

"But you never held a pole or baited a hook."
I debated. Then I remembered the cross, His scars, fisherman scars on his hands and feet and his side, pierced for me.
His love set the example for me to be like Him, nothing more, and nothing less.

I stood speechless as the sky began to open and a gentle shower from the heavens began to pour upon the stream and grass.The wetness of my tears mixed with the rain and I had to smile.

By the time my friend had returned with worms the sudden drizzle stopped just as quickly as it came and we settled down at the edge of the river.

“We’ll make you a fisher woman yet,” she teased and held the dangling crawlers in front of my nose.“Someone already has,”I grinned.

Since then many opportunities had come my way to also be a fisher of men through His love and to be a follower of the Great Commission.

“Excuse me Ma’am,” a voice reeled my mind to the present. It was the clerk from the outdoorsman store.

“Is there anything I can help you find?” He asked. I scanned the casting rods and picked one up.“No thank you, I think I’ve found everything I need.”

“Doing some freshwater fishing hmm?”
the clerk asked curiously.“You could say that.”I grinned as I reached for a package of hooks.“I’m learning from the best.” I added.

Matt: 1:17

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Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Jones02/08/07
Awesome! I think we all come to the point where we try to be what we're not in order to please others. I'm so glad that God uses us for his own special purpose. Thank you so much. I really needed to read this.
Kurt Youngdale02/08/07
I can really relate to not wanting to touch squirmy worms. I can and have and will do it again however. I really like the way you describe things. I think everyone has trie t be something they were not at one time or another. It's just best to be yourself
Martha Ford02/10/07
Great story. The short, fast paragraphs, punctuated with thought association, gave a frantic pace to the story and heightened the drama. I still can't bait my hook! Keep up the good work.
Jacquelyn Horne02/11/07
You captured me. When the voice of the clerk reached the woman, I, too had forgotten where we were. Very good.
Phyllis Inniss02/14/07
This is truly a great entry. You captured the imagination and described the scenes so well that I too got lost until the clerk spoke. Well done.
Mariane Holbrook 02/17/07
One of the hardest experiences of my life was fishing on an Atlantic coast pier with 200 fishermen who all came from the same fishing gene pool. I recall thinking that being a fisher of men wasn't nearly as hard as threading a blood worm (that can bite, by the way) onto my hook. Your piece was delightful and I lived through every word of it. Thank you!