Hugging Fish


It didn’t look good. There were two blokes who were squaring off for a stoush. One dressed in khaki coveralls stood there with a shaved head, handle bar moustache and several crooked teeth. The other with navy-blue work shorts and singlet and a comb over hairdo was yelling into his face. There had been a very heated argument between the two of them over how a job should be done, and the short supply of patience was gone. “Let’s settle this man to man,” was the last thing I heard as I drew alongside them.

One could be forgiven for thinking it was the worksite for the new RAH or a disagreement over the Grand Final at the local pub. But no, sadly, this was a working bee for our new church property. A day where we’d organised for families to get together over a barbecue and games for the kids while the dads put in place some bollards to stem the flow of youthful outsiders who were enjoying dropping circular tyre tracked donuts on our property at the annoyance of the neighbours. This was to be a day of celebration and fun and festivity. But somehow the notion of the goodness of God and what he had graciously given us was forgotten behind the angry flesh of two of God’s people who should have known better.

It seemed pointless to remind the two blokes that God’s greatest work was our reconciliation to him and each other through the cross of Christ. But that is exactly what I told them in that moment. They needed a reminder that, “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10)

It’s easy to quote this in the warmth of worship on Sunday morning but what about remembering it in the caldron of life on the other six mornings of the week. Jesus died just as much for those days as well.

from Frank Eames