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133rd -- The Old Fisherman


Many times when we come in contact with others, we automatically judge them
by their appearance and that should not be. The Bible declares in 1 Samuel
16:7 "...For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the
outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I hope you will be
challenged by this message that shows the blessings of not looking at the
outward appearance of a person but looking rather at their heart. 


Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns
Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs
rooms to out patients at the clinic. 

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I
opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than 
my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. 
But the appalling thing was his face-lopsided from swelling, red and raw. 
Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if 
you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from 
the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning." 

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no
one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face...I know it looks 
terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..."

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep
in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside
and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he
would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag. 

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a
few minutes. It didn't take long to see that this old man had an oversized
heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to 
support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was 
hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was
prefaced with a thanks to God for His blessings. He was grateful that no 
pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer.
He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going. 

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up
in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was 
out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his 
bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come 
back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. 
I can sleep fine in a chair."

He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. 
Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind.” I 
told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a
gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever
seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that 
they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered
what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that
he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. 

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery;
fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf
carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and 
knowing how little money he had made, the gifts were doubly precious. When 
I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our 
next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. "Did you keep 
that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers 
by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have 
known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know
our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him. We learned
what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with 
gratitude to God. 

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her
flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum,
bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old
dented, rusty bucket.

I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest 
container I had!" My friend changed my mind. "I ran out of pots," she 
explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it 
wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while,
till I can put it out in the garden."

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining 
just such a scene in heaven. "Here's an especially beautiful one," God 
might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He 
won't mind starting in this small body." All this happened long ago--and 
now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

Author Unknown

Imagine the blessings that pass us by because of our quick reaction to 
something that "Does not look normal". The blessings of God often come in
ways that we never think of, so the next time you're tempted to not help 
or be courteous, remember this story and the impact one small fisherman 
had on an entire family.

Read and meditate on these scriptures:

Matthew 25:37-40 Jesus says
“Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying,
Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee
drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed
thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the 
King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye 
have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it 
unto Me.”

Luke 6:35-36 Jesus says
“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend,
hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be
the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the
evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”

Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my 
helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off
my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may
sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks
unto thee for ever.”

All scriptures can be found in the King James Version.

In Christ Service, 

Dwayne Savaya 
Gods Work Ministry 


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