Near the lake, cool evening breezes fanned the flickering campfire just enough to briefly brighten the faces of the three men crouched around it. The once gentle lapping of the waves against the pebbled shore had suddenly increased in strength and frequency, causing the men to comment on their decision to come ashore.
“Storm’s definitely coming,” the long-bearded one said. “We need to be putting our gear away after we eat. There will to be no fishing on the lake tonight.”
“You’re right, John,” said the man next to him. “We’ve been in storms on this lake before. I’m just glad it blew in before we were too far out on the water.”
The group had taken their boat out at dusk, planning to fish all night. However, the rise of the wind and the ever-darkening evening clouds changed their plans. Returning to shore, they moored the boat, made a small wood fire and prepared to broil the few fish they had caught. Supper would be meager this evening, with only a few pieces of bread to add to their meal.
All of the men lived in a small village on the northwest side of the lake. Friends since they were children, each was familiar with the danger of going out on the lake if the weather warned otherwise, and although fishing was their livelihood, they knew when it was wise to remain on shore.
The crickets’ chirping call, along with the hoarse quacks of the pelicans and the low whistle-like sound of the grebes added to the wild splashing sound of the waves, providing a background of sorts as they ate their dinner.
“It’s the strangest thing,” John said. “The way those two just up and left town yesterday.”
The other men nodded in agreement, their mouths busy with fish and bread.
Jphn continued,“I imagine everyone in town has heard about it by now. You have to wonder what in the world would make two healthy guys just take off like that…in the middle of the day, too. I heard they didn’t even say goodbye to their family.”
The shortest of the group, Joseph, stood up, stretched his arms and walked toward the shore. In a pensive tone said, “Well, there was something about that fellow who came walking by the boats yesterday. I saw him. He just walked over to Simon and Andrew while they were tending to their nets. He stood there beside their boat, gesturing first toward the lake and then to their nets. Those two brothers didn’t turn their eyes away from him the whole time he was talking to them."
"Whatever he said must have been very important because they put down their nets, got out of the boat and walked off down the road with him. I heard he’s from over the hills in Nazareth…a carpenter, I think. It’s strange that he walked all the way to Capernaum just to talk to people along the lake. I wonder what he wanted with those fellows? Maybe he asked them to teach him how to fish. I watched them leave, and they hadn’t walked very far before Andrew came running back to their boat. He put a sign on it--a message for their father, I’ve been told. But that’s another strange thing…the sign only had two words on it…‘GONE FISHING’.
For some reason, I’m wishing I had joined them.”
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