"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" II Corinthians 5:7
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Did Thomas Meet an Angel?
While on vacation I took my son fishing. He had just bought a new fishing pole and wanted to try it out. I took him to the dock to fish in the shadows. Even though he could see the fish and they were nibbling on his line, he grew impatient and wanted to find "a better fishing spot." He decided to take the trail around the lake.
As he headed down the trail, the woods around us started to get darker and darker. I knew their were bears and racoons and other wild creatures in these woods, so I grew a little anxious to find the perfect fishing spot, too.
We had passed a couple of openings in the pine trees by the lake, but Thomas kept walking past them. The woods grew darker and darker and our fishing time was getting away from us. Finally he decided on a spot with a small opening in the pine trees by the lake. As we approached the lake and off the trail, we started stepping on the soft pine needles. It was like walking on top of your bed. I felt a little unsure of my steps. Plus there were holes dotted all over the ground the size of a man's fist. Of course, my imagination started to run away from me, but I had to put up a good front for my son. We got to the lake, but Thomas decided this hole in the pine trees was not big enough to fish. I had to draw the line. "I'm sure I can cast the line out here, Thomas." Hesitatingly and politely he stated that he didn't think it would work. I was very anxious to fish before our time ran out. I probably just broke the first rule of fishing: don't have a time limit when you fish.
Anyway, I convinced him that I could cast the line successfully through the pine boughs, but I was WRONG! I caught his line on a pine bough. In vain I tried to free the line. I worked on it for some time to no avail. The only solutions I could think of was to cut the line and put on a new hook or get in the lake and yank it off the bough. Thomas did not like either idea. The former solution was even more to his dislike. He had a solution. While I stood with his fishing pole, "Just trust me, Mom," is what he persistently said. He went into the woods and came back dragging a big branch. "What are you going to do with that?" I asked.
"I am going to make a bridge." He proceeded to place the branch in the water. I told him he would sink to the bottom. "Just trust me," is all he said. Then he began to step on the branch.
"STOP!" I proclaimed. "Are they your only shoes for the week?"
"Well, you have to take off your shoes if you are going in the water. I don't want pond scum on them for the rest of the week."
He willingly took them off and cautiously stepped onto the branch while I held him with one hand and the fishing pole in the other hand. "Mom, bend over some more." he said. I was already in a very precarious position to bend over more was very unsettling. Thomas was able to get to the first pine bough, the second pine bough, but not the third pine bough which was the bough the hook was attached. He came back to the shore and then told me he had another idea. I was hoping he saw the light and would let me cut the line. This idea never entered his head. Rather he was going to get "help."
"HELP?!" Where were we going to get help? It was just us and God out there. No one was around. No one to be seen or heard. Yes, there were fisher men on the lake -- all the way on the other side of the lake. No where near our spot. I doubt they would have heard us if we cried out.
"Just trust me, Mom," is all he kept saying. "I know. I can pray." He squeezed his eyes real tight and his hands just as tightly. Then he said, "Amen." I said, "Amen," too.
Immediately after that we heard a sound behind us. It was somewhat surprising. I'm sure my face must have relayed that because a man with his dog said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you." I said, "Oh, no!" Then I started telling him our predicament. He came up and offered to help us. I had to hold his big dog on a leash while he took the pole from me. Before he tried to help he turned to Thomas and said, "This is important to you. Isn't it?" Thomas in shock look up at him and shook his head yes. "Don't worry. I'll get the line back for you." On his first attempt the line was free. Amazingly, we looked at him.
"Praise the Lord!" I said.
He turned to me and repeated, "Praise the Lord is right." Extending his hand to me he said, "Hi, I'm John." With much gratefulness we thanked him. He took his dog and started to walk towards the trail and out of sight.
Thomas quietly came close to me and whispered, "I think that man was an angel."
"Funny, I was thinking what you just said."
After trying three other spots for fishing, we ended up back at the dock. When the trip was all over and we reached our cabin, Thomas joyfully said to me, "Mom, tell Dad about the angel we saw."
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5