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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Re Pete
By Doug Spurling
01/30/13


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He sits on shore, near the fire he just built.

Orange and gold waves waltz with morning sun.

Too tired to argue with the man’s request, they toss the net; it slaps the water and starts to sink, just as it had done—to no avail—all night long.

One man yawns, another closes his eyes and rests his head on the side of the boat. The others sit and stare; all listen to waves slap a lullaby against the bow. No one expects—

The boat pitches and lists as if hit by a wave.

“Pull!” Seasoned fishermen scramble for the net.

“My God—the nets going to break! Pull!”

My God? It’s Him… “It’s Him. My God."

Usually, folks take off clothes, or at least heavier garments, before jumping in the water, but not this man, he puts them back on, and plunges into the sea.

The man on shore stands, crosses his arms, and laughs right out loud. You needn’t put your cloak on, to come to me. But, it shows evidence of another cloak you needed to wear—humility. It suits you well, my friend.

The man swimming toward shore feels stupid. Why’d I jump? I always do that—jump first, think later. I should’ve stayed in the boat. That’s where I belong. I’m a fisherman—for fish, not men—that’s all. Now he’ll think I’m still the same old loud mouth traitor. Maybe I am. After all, I turned my back on him, I denied him. Maybe, I should quit…sink—let the sea swallow me. He stops swimming, releases air from his lungs, and starts to descend.

The man on shore watches the lone swimmer encumbered by garments. Remember, the catch, when I called you to become a fisher of men? It was a great catch that day, remember? Only then, the net broke. I heard what you said that day. “At your word, I’ll let down the net.” But alas, what you were thinking was this: “I’m the fisherman, you’re the preacher, so when we look like fools for pulling up an empty net, remember, you said it not me.” I’ve repeated this miracle so you’ll remember your call. Peter, this time the net won’t break—and neither will you.

His lungs burn, dark water pulls him deep and he remembers another time, another catch, a few years ago, that was a good day—that’s when I first started to see Him for who He is—before I blew it, before I denied Him, before I sank. I'm useless to him now.

Jesus stretches out his hand toward the man…Peter bar Jonah, I once prepared a fish to swallow a man named Jonah, something I don’t want to repeat, I want to restore you Peter—Come.

It’s so cold, so dark—so familiar. I remember…He said “Come.”I got out of the boat. I walked on water. But, like always, I failed. I looked away and sank, into this cold, into this dark. I should have drowned…but His hand. He reached out His hand.

Light flashes a glimpse of the Carpenter’s hand—only it’s different, scarred, pierced-clean-through. He hears The Voice “Come.”

Peter claws for the surface, toward the Light, until he finally staggers into shore, toward the Man by the fire and remembers, it was by a fire, he denied Him. He stops. Tears can’t be seen for the water from the sea, but they’re there, just the same.

How arrogantly I had declared my allegiance above the others. How gently Jesus warned; “Three times, you will deny you even know me.”

And now He repeats three times…three times, the question and the call, one for each denial, “Do you love me more than these?”

Peter can’t repeat the words, more than these. He can only kneel, not trusting his own heart, “Yes, Lord, you know all things, you know I love you.”


Listen… can you hear Him still repeating, “Do you love me?”


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This article has been read 232 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD (Camille) Swanson 01/31/13
I loved this entire entry. Thank you! God bless~
Jan Christiansen01/31/13
An amazing reminder of our Lord's infinite patience with us. Thank you!
Noel Mitaxa 02/01/13
Love the atmosphere you weave as you get started, and how you've taken Pete through his past and further back - great allusion to Jonah - before inviting him to explore a new future.
Great job. Loved the pun in the title as well.
Allison Egley 02/01/13
Oh this is good.

I noticed a few missing quotation marks.

Nice job. I like how you brought together so many stories into one.
Bea Edwards 02/02/13
Great writing from the clever title through your unique perspective on this well know scenario.
Cheryl Harrison 02/02/13
I enjoyed this beautiful depiction of Peter's restoration. Good job!
Danielle King 02/03/13
Great title. Loved the atmosphere you created too. Well done.
Richard Hicks02/04/13
loved this, Great Job!
Myrna Noyes02/04/13
Very moving story here! You have a really wonderful way with words, such as "Tears can’t be seen for the water from the sea, but they’re there, just the same," and "all listen to waves slap a lullaby against the bow." Awesome word pictures! You also brought out some excellent points and made some good "connections" with other biblical happenings as well as with other events in Peter's life (for example, the fact that Peter denied Christ by a fire, and now he reaffirms Christ by a fire!). I loved reading this from start to finish! :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/05/13
I really enjoyed this piece. Your title drew me in as when I first heard the topic I went to that old childhood joke about Pete and Repeat. I wasn't expecting this particular story but I still really enjoyed it and think you did a marvelous job of weaving the topic in.

The only suggestion I'd offer is to use quotation marks and clarify for the reader who is speaking. There were times when I had to stop and reread because I thought I'd missed something.

It may seem strange that something as inconsequential as a quotation mark can make such a huge difference. I think the heart of your story proves that it can and does. Jesus knew the anguish that Peter was feeling and though it may not seem huge to others, it was huge to Peter so therefore it is of the utmost importance to God. Good job.
Sheldon Bass 02/05/13
Wonderful piece! How many times do we see ourselves in Peter? That wonderful Apostle who so clearly displays what the power of God can do in a life--through a life. From his call to his 3x denial to Pentecost, then to his epistles and then his own upside down crucifiction, what an example of power and transformation. The same is available to all who come to Christ in faith. I was captivated by this piece. Good all the way through! I liked the realistic doubt: would he still accept me?--could such grace be real?
Lois Farrow02/05/13
Beautifully done.
Loren T. Lowery02/06/13
So many great things packed into this story. I love the way you've told it - very engaging and written like the overview of a novel - the characters the setting, etc all to be continued because the reader knows there is more to be told. Great job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations for placing 6th in level three and 27 overall!
Judith Gayle Smith02/07/13
Renewing joy . . .