Swim away!
Maybe it would be better if…

“Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Fishing is a two-way relationship. It involves work, struggle, and tension. It also involves pain and trauma for the fish.

When a fisherman hooks a fish, which of them is really in charge? Most think the fisherman. He has the brains, the tools, and the power to overcome and land his catch.

Every fisherman knows that for every fish caught, many more get away. Some snap lines that trail behind them as they swim away. Others tear the hook out in the struggle, and swim away wounded.

Yet some fish figure out a simpler, braver path. Rather than pull, dash, or thrash, they swim toward shore, and approach the fisherman. When fish do so, you’re bound to see a frantic person reeling like crazy shouting “No, no, no—not towards me!” But if the fish persists, the line goes slack, and the hook comes out with a flick of its head.

In cases where fish swim toward their enemy, they often gain freedom from pain, and leave dragging nothing behind them.

Today, God asks us to consider His forgiveness and the way we forgive each other.

Like the fish and fisherman, we are in relationships with each other. At times those relationships can be marked by struggle, tension, and pain.

When we choose, as a result of hurt (those hooks that stab at us) to fight and flee, we end up either dragging the memories of those hurts behind us, or we end up deeply wounded.

God asks us to be the smart fish, to swim towards those who have hurt us. As we do, we free ourselves from the barbs that hurt us and we are free.

The pain doesn’t go away easily, and true reconciliation and the rebuilding of relationships is a much longer process, but it has to start with our going toward those who hurt us. There we offer our forgiveness.

When we hurt God through sin, we will always find Him swimming toward us, with complete forgiveness. As we enter Lent, let us resolve to do the same with each other.