Setting the box down on the counter at the River Road Bi-Mart, I watched the clerk’s eyes as she read the pregnancy test label and scanned the load of children attached to my cart. Her gaze rested on the baby kicking against my thigh.
Her smile tightened a little as she rang up my order, but she said nothing. I imagined she counted the children in her head, and how crazy I was to have so many and one on the way.
Feeling playful, I mentioned that my two boys would be home from school soon, then the real fun would begin. She looked bewildered.
Are all those your children?
The truth is that though the pregnancy test was mine, most of the children with me that day weren’t. Had she taken a closer look, she might have guessed they were too close in age to be from the same family. And if she were concerned, she could have asked me about it, but she didn’t. I’d have been happy to share the dynamics of my family with her, but she didn’t bother to dig deeper for clearer understanding.
Look a little closer at the facts
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-22 ESV, italics mine).
Must I use a fish hook?
When I learned this story as a child, I thought Jesus wanted me to be like a fisherman. However it was explained to me, I imagined a hook in someone’s cheek and I had no desire whatsoever to take part in something like that.
Now, as I take a closer look, I see Jesus was speaking to fishermen, not sawmill workers, accountants, college students or childcare providers. He considered who his audience was, and how to best communicate with them. He put his message in a way they could clearly understand he wanted them to follow him, and that he’d do the job of making them into people bringers.
The promise and the calling
As I understand it, he’s saying, “If you follow me, I will make you ‘bringers of others’ to me.” Maybe that’s why I enjoyed caring for children so much. It fulfilled my mission and didn’t require handling fish hooks.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis