In the Hand of God
Once upon a time a fish named George came to live in a beautiful small pond in the country. George had been moved to this pond by the Great Fisherman and loved his life there. In no time at all, George had quickly made friends with the fish in the small pond. Not only was George a friendly outgoing fish, but he was also beautiful. Most of the fish living in the pond were small brown fish and had never seen a fish so amazing as George. George was a radiant orange color with scales that glistened when the sun reflected off them near the surface of the pond. All the fish in the pond wanted to be like George.
George spent his days sharing his knowledge and demonstrating his skills to the other fish. He told them the story of how he had been chosen by the Great Fisherman. The other fish swam in awe of his relationship with the Great Fisherman. They wanted so much to be more like George. Some of the fish found that if they rubbed themselves against the perimeter of the pond walls that they could get some of the burnt orange color of the mud on their scales. Over time some of the fish actually started to resemble George not only in actions, but also in color. Many happy days were spent swimming along with George in the pond.
Fred was a tiny brown fish who lived in the pond. Fred had lived there his whole life and knew nothing other than life in the small pond. Fred was liked by most of the fish in the pond even though to look at him, he was nothing special. Not only was Fred smaller than most of the fish, he also had a broken fin that made it hard for him to swim. Fred too admired George, but he knew that he could never fit in with him and the others. Sometimes Fred tried to join the other fish as they swam along with George, but he soon came to the realization that he could never fit in with his broken fin. Fred started spending his days swimming alone. He even came to realize that if he swam in the depths of the pond where the light of the sun didn't quite touch, he could blend in with the murky dark water and go unnoticed. Eventually the other fish forgot about Fred and he spent all of his time in the dark murky depths swimming with his broken fin.
One day the Great Fisherman came to the pond. Word quickly spread that the Great Fisherman had arrived. All the fish gathered near the pond's surface so that they could be seen. Every day the fish had learned more and more about what the Great Fisherman wanted from his fish. They knew how he wanted them to swim. They stretched their fins every day to make them stronger. They met often so that they could show each other their progress and encourage each other to continue to improve. The Great Fisherman truly was pleased with their desire to do as he had asked and to see how they had improved themselves individually and as a group.
After gazing into the pond for awhile, the Great Fisherman took a net and placed it gently in the water among the fish. All the fish were excited at the thought of being chosen by the Great Fisherman. All the fish waited in anticipation as the net hovered in the water. It appeared that the Great Fisherman was looking for a particular fish. Although disappointed at the thought that they were not the chosen one, the fish quickly came to realize that he must be there to get George. Who else would he choose? George quickly swam beside the net and waited to be caught up within its grasp as he had been before. The net did not move to catch him. George thought that the Great Fisherman must not have seen him, so he swam inside the net. Still the net didn't take him up from the water. George swam to the bottom of the net pushing on the net in order to make the Great Fisherman notice that he was in the net. Not only did the net not start to pick him up, the net actually turned to remove him from within it..
Slowly the net was lowered below the level of the fish. All the fish were confused. They did not understand the meaning of what was happening. The net was extended down into the deepest depths of the pond where Fred was hiding alone. The net gently closed in around Fred, and he began to be lifted toward the surface of the pond. Fred was sure that he was being removed from the pond because of his broken fin. Although he was hurt, he understood. The other fish assumed that this was indeed the reason for Fred being chosen and went on to swim as always.
The Great Fisherman talked to Fred in a loving voice as he carried him in a bucket along a path. Fred could see his reflection in the bucket's walls, Fred saw his plain brown body. He saw how small he truly was. But more than anything, Fred saw his broken fin. It had been mangled in the storms that had hit the pond. Part of his fin was missing. Some of the fin that remained had thin places and holes where Fred had been beaten against the rocks. No wonder the Great Fisherman didn't want him in the pond with the others.
The Great Fisherman stopped by a large lake. He sat down on a log and held the bucket containing Fred in his hands. Fred could see his face and his loving smile. Fred was no different than the other fish. He too desired more than anything to please the Great Fisherman, but he just didn't know how he could. He was just a small plain brown fish with a broken mangled fin. Fred listened as the Great Fisherman told him about the place where he had brought him to live. The vastness of this big pond frightened Fred. Fred only knew life in a little pond. How would he survive here? Would anyone even notice he was there? The Great Fisherman said something about trusting him and that Fred only needed to be himself, and then Fred was dumped into the depths of the biggest pond he had ever seen.
Fred's first inclination was to head for the safety of the darkness, but he was quickly met by two other fish. Fred waited for the fish to say something about his fin, but they didn't. They took Fred on a tour of the pond. As they swam, Fred saw more fish than he ever imagined existing. There were fish of all colors and sizes. He saw fish with rainbows on their sides. He saw fish with blue gills, long whiskers, and shiny scales. He even saw fish that were orange just like George. So many fish swimming in the waters of the pond. Fred began to notice that some of the fish had broken fins just like him. He noticed that some fish had scales that were missing. A few fish still had pieces of metal in them where they had been able to escape a hook. Some fish were even missing an eye. Fred quickly learned that he had grown accustomed to life in the little pond without much thought of life outside the pond. Fred only knew what he saw every day. He had never given any thought to those outside his pond.
Fred quickly made friends with the fish in the pond, but he formed special bonds with the fish who were broken like him. The fish who were missing scales, had injured fins, or who had narrowly escaped the hook, all were fascinated by Fred's stories of the Great Fisherman. They never realized that the Great Fisherman was interested in them too. They only thought he wanted fish like George who radiated beauty to those around him. They were hopeful hearing how the Great Fisherman had made such efforts to go to the depths of the pond to search for Fred. They were encouraged to hear that they too were special in the eyes of the Great Fisherman.
The injured fish in the big pond were changed forever because a little plain brown fish with a mangled broken fin told his story. And a little fish named Fred came to realize that sometimes being a little fish in a big pond can make a lot of difference...especially when the Great Fisherman places you there. Turns out that the Great Fisherman can use a tiny broken mangled fish to radically change a big pond.