I’d like to share a couple of fun fishing stories with you.
Very early in my time here back in the 70’s we had on the Lord’s Ranch three lakes named Peter, James, and John. Fr. Thomas had asked me to go to the Rio Grande and catch some crawfish to put in our lakes which would provide food for the catfish in the lakes. I hardly knew what a crawfish was, but I went. Actually, I went several times.
However, one time I took with me a few of the youth that were in the community. We were there for some time wading through the shallow river looking among the rocks for crawdads. We weren’t doing so well.
At one point one of the young boys (about 14 years old) said to me, “Let’s go back over to that big rock to look for crawdads.” I replied, “We were just there and we didn’t see any.” He said, “I know but I just saw Jesus sitting on that big rock waving us back over there.” Well, I couldn’t argue with that so back we went to that area.
There we caught over 300 crawdads!! They were all over the place. We were laughing and amazed as we caught and packed the crawdads in the wet burlap sacks in the big heavy-duty pans we brought.
On the way back to the Ranch, we talked about what had just happened. We remarked how it was so much like the scripture story where Jesus told the apostles to fish on the other side of the boat and they caught over 300 fish after catching nothing. Fr. Thomas was delighted with what God had done as we told him the story and showed him all the crawfish.
The main thing that happened, however, was not how many crawdads we caught but the faith that was built in that young boy, the other youth, and myself. I’ve never forgotten it because it made such a big impression on me. It made such a mark on me that sometimes when I am praying for something in faith, I will picture Jesus on the rock and recall the bonanza of crawfish. It was simple but a faith-builder.
The other fish story happened in 1998. Our family was camping in Oakcreek Canyon, Arizona. There is a beautiful creek there. There were lots of campers and several of them were fishing. They had their poles, tackle boxes, etc. Also present was a young boy, about 11 years old, whom I could tell was from a lower-class home. He was all excited because he had found a hook partially under a rock attached to about 3 feet of fishing line. It had obviously broken off from someone’s fishing pole.
He was thrilled as he showed his hook to us, and he told me he was going to fish with it. He had no bait and no pole — nothing but the short line and hook. As I watched him, I prayed, “O Lord, please just put a fish on his hook.”
Lo and behold, a fish got on his line and he pulled up a fish! He was screaming with joy. We were all so happy for him, and I kept thanking Jesus over and over again.
We helped him gut it, and I cooked it for him at our campsite since his mother had no idea what to do with it. He had a big smile on his face as he ate a delicious rainbow trout.
The lesson for me was that there is no prayer too small or insignificant for God. With all the problems in the world, God cared enough to put a fish on this young boy’s line, which delighted him to no end. I still smile when I think about it.
There is no prayer too big or too small for God. He is a personal God who cares about every aspect of each person’s life. Our God is good and rich in kindness!
Mary Ann / Mother Hen