by Bob Wickizer

Cleaning Up for Jesus
Rev. Bob Wickizer
Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-10; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-41
2 Epiphany
20 January 2002

Of my two older brothers the middle brother Bill is a stoic. I have seen Bill ignore pain that would bring most people to a moaning standstill. But my oldest brother Fred and I know of one time when we saw Bill more frightened than we would have ever imagined.

Our family has owned a cabin in southwestern Missouri since the 1930s. Situated in the poorest county in the state, the river next to our ten acres provides some of the best small mouth bass fishing around yet a large lake nearby and the numerous log jams on the river make it undesirable for most fisher folk leaving the river nearly the exclusive domain of our family except for the occasional farmer.

Around the first week in August when the Perseid meteor shower passes overhead my two brothers and I would often head for the local farm ponds to fish for really big bass you can only catch in the dark of the moon. You have to be a little crazy to do this. The air temperature after midnight usually cools to the low 70s and around the edge, the pond water is often warmer. But you must wade through thick beds of algae growing up from the bottom before you can stand in the clear about chest deep able to cast out to the center of the pond without any pond scum to foul your lure. Our rules for this kind of extreme fishing are quite simple. No lights period. Have you ever tried to tie on a lure by starlight? Secondly, no whining about snakes.

The bass often run well over five pounds so we consider it an acceptable risk. After all, you are more likely to have a car accident on the way home than to deal with a snakebite. We stand there the three of us scattered around a half-acre pond serenely fishing by starlight while watching the meteors shooting overhead. All you can hear is the plop plop sound of top water lures gurgling over the surface.

A couple of ...

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