I’d gotten so used to him. He’d come and go. Sometimes we had long talks. Other times, we were just together with nothing to say. We were close. Yet we were distant. You know how it is—that closeness made of mutual understanding and yet a distance born of my admiration for him.
We were from two different worlds, but we understood each other. He could share my simple life on the seas. I could appreciate his complex life of leadership. I sweat and produced a catch of fish. He sweat and produced miracles.
I was happy to see him work those miracles. It was really something to know he could care that much about others to want to take their pain away. I’d watch the look on people’s faces when they were cured. Got to realizing they were really good inside and deserved some kind of attention. It made me envy them and wish I had a problem for him to fix. I guess that’s why I didn’t feel entirely close to him. Healing just seemed a part of who he was. I wanted to be closer to him. Things between us had gotten routine.
It had been a miserable night. I’d worked and sweat and everything went wrong. I got mad at my shipmates, blamed God for the bad weather, and cussed up a storm.
Frustrated, I turned the boat toward shore, and the boys began washing the nets. Then, he was there, climbing into my boat and almost chuckling he said, “Put the net on the other side.”
“Sure, if you say so,” I answered sarcastically, dropping the net over. I was a little peeved he could tease at a time like this. It wasn’t like him to hurt anyone’s feelings who was really trying. Then it dawned on me that he’d planned this whole event so he could work a miracle just for me. The idea really got to me: No! You can’t do that, I thought. I’m just an ordinary guy.
I looked at him, begging in my heart . . . don’t; please don’t! But his smile was replaced by a glance that said simply “This one’s for you.”
“Leave me, Lord,” I cried in anguish as I pulled at the full-to-overflowing nets. “I’m a sinful man.”