Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Fisherman and the Shepherd

What is it?

How does it behave?

What kinds of things does it say?

What’s at the bottom of it? Love, that is.

And how do I do anything-simple things- with all my heart and soul, mind and strength? I’m just not that focused.

I’m distractable.

My heart’s like a tossed salad.

And usually around 2:30 in the afternoon, my mind’s like a casserole. Noodle.


I know. 

God tells me everything I need to know about it. He really does, and I can read 1 Corinthians 13 like a recipe; but I need more than that.

“I need more than Your, ‘Love is…’ definition that was read at my wedding decades ago.” He nods because He knows it’s true and, maybe, because He knows something more-something that the kind of love He’s talking about needs if it’s going to be possible.

“What is it?” I’m not asking about love, but about what I need to do it the way He says. It’s beyond me. Really beyond me.

“What is it?” I ask again what I need to love the way He commands, and loves.

He begins to tell me about when, after He rose from the grave, He watched His disciples casting their net and drawing it up empty. He tells me how He called out to them, “Cast your net to the other side of the boat,” and that when it filled with fish, Peter jumped overboard and swam to shore because He knew it was Jesus.  He tells me that He was waiting, with fish cooking on the fire, to feed His fishermen and then to invite Peter to walk with Him.

 “Do you love Me?” He asked Peter.

I want Jesus to ask me as many times as my heart needs, "Do you love me?” I want him to bring me to the bottom of the question.

"What's at the bottom?"

"I am." His answer tells me what I need to love the way He commands.


He is; so I may be what only He is.


He loves; so that I may love as only He loves.


He does; so that I may do what only He can do.

What is it? What do I need to love the way He commands?

His grace. 

He is what I’m not, and makes me what He is. 

That’s what I need to love as He commands.

"Do you love me?" His voice is tender low. He's fishing.

"I love you." I answer as Peter did.

I want Him to keep casting the question to the bottom of my heart.

“Do you love Me?” He casts.

“I love You.” I want Him to fill my heart as full of love as He filled the fishermen’s net with fish.

“Do you love Me?” He’s filling my heart.

“I love You.”

I want to wonder at the fullness of my heart, as the fishermen wondered at the fullness of their net. The net wasn’t broken; and I wonder if a heart full of love for Jesus is a heart that won’t be broken.

I hear the second commandment when He says, “Tend My sheep,” and “Feed My sheep.” I hear it, “Love your neighbaah as yourself.”

Peter didn’t say the likes of what I’ve heard said, “How can I love my neighbor as myself when there’s so much I don’t love about myself?” Surely by then he knew the order of it-the grace.

In The Shepherd's heart there is a fisher of men, and in the fisherman’s heart there is a shepherd of sheep.

That’s what it is.

That’s what I need.

That’s His love. 

written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig