Making a Life

Lesbian novelist Willa Cather said:

Where there is great love, there are always miracles. Miracles explode where life is right and love makes life right. Miracles rest, not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming to us from afar, but on our perceptions being made finer so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is about us always.

We all know that the rooms in which sit are filled with radio and TV waves that we cannot hear, with x-rays, and gamma rays that we cannot see. Jesus’ hearing was tuned to the frequency of heaven. He saw what others missed, including great schools of fish swimming in the deep.

When Simon Peter pulled in the last fish, he looked around at what had happened and knew that, for him, it was a miracle. Suddenly, he saw that he was in the presence of one sent to him from God.

Perhaps, the great miracle of that day was Peter’s insight and honesty. He saw clearly his own broken sinfulness, and he begged Jesus to leave him because he was so unworthy. We know just how Simon felt.

There are two amazing things about how this story ends. The first is that Jesus didn’t leave. When we let go of our arrogance and presumptions and dare to push out into the deep, we are open to a miracle because we are where God wants us to be. That, however, was not the end of the story. Not only did Peter’s honesty not drive Jesus away, but, in that moment of honest uncertainty and vulnerability, Simon Peter was finally ready to spend the rest of his days in a new way. That day, Jesus gave Peter a purpose that made his life worth living and gave meaning to his dying, a purpose that would last past sunset.

Peter had been a fisher all of his life, but, at the moment of his greatest catch, Jesus calls him to walk away and spend his days serving God. No longer just making a living, Jesus called him to make a life. In the end, that may be the big catch.

by Michael Piazza
Co-Executive Director
The Center for Progressive Renewal

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