Okay, literally! I saw a fish out of water!
I was taking my walk one day last week and I saw a creature flopping around on the sidewalk! At first, I thought it was a giant slug!
It was approximately 10 inches long, greyish colored, and when I got closer to it, I could see tiny little protrusions on each side of its face. It’s motion was like a “scrunch up & jump-scrunch up & jump” kinda action! It had been raining…it’s our rainy season in FL, but the sidewalk was dry…all I saw were puddles in the roadway.
Where had this creature come from?
I looked around & saw a drainage ditch…so maybe that’s where it came from and where it was heading. It certainly didn’t belong on the sidewalk.
But, what was I to do?
I kept walking.
Really, I wanted to just pick it up, rescue it, and carry it across the street to the lake on the golf course.
I thought about it, then I thought what if it bites me? I’m not near my house at the moment…what if it bites me and I bleed to death?
What if it carries a disease?
I could call 911..I did that one other time in almost the exact same spot, when I noticed a stray dog in the neighborhood. But what would I say to the dispatcher this time? “Sorry, to bother you, but I found a fish out of water!” Do you even call the police for this issue, or is this clearly a Fish & Wildlife matter?
Since it had been raining, I had my umbrella with me, so I thought, maybe I can just shoo it along on the sidewalk..ya know, to help it get going toward whatever water source it came out of. Then I thought, what if I hurt it by scraping it on the sidewalk…who am I gonna call then? Huh?
“Hello, Urgent Care Center?”
“You saw what? You did what?”
I just can’t handle that much judgement!
One day several months ago, I was again walking in that same area, and a lady and her daughter were driving by. They suddenly stopped near me…pointing at something in the street. Maybe I have bad eyesight, but I didn’t know what that was either! Turned out, it was a very large turtle, and the lady was trying to stop traffic, so it wouldn’t get run over by cars. She was shooing it with a plastic toy hockey stick, apparently her daughter’s. See, she thought of something similar to my umbrella handle. Ha!
Anyway, just as she was getting nowhere hurrying this turtle out of the road…a guy in a truck came, saw, stopped, picked up the large turtle, told us it wouldn’t hurt us, placed the turtle safely on the side of the road in the grass, and went on his way!
I just looked at the lady and said, “Well, I guess that’s how it’s done!” I learned something, and I felt foolish for not thinking of it myself.
But apparently that learning experience did not help me with the fish out of water!
After I walked away, I started to go back…I really did! But, then I thought, “You’re going to look foolish!”
What will people think…you bending down to rescue this sorry-looking, squirming, greyish, flopping creature…that fish out of water?
I went home, told my husband, The Fisherman…my fish story…and he said, “Oh, that’s just a catfish…that’s how they move…I’ve seen them in the grass at times, flopping like that!” We looked it up online, & I don’t know how I could have been afraid of such a cute little fish!
But it WAS out of its water, for goodness sake…
A lot like fishing for men, huh??
Sometimes a person can be like a fish out of water, too!
Down and out.
Far from God.
Needing to be rescued.
Why are we afraid?
Do we keep walking?
Why can’t we just pick them up, rescue them, and carry them to safety?
Even if we look foolish to the world.
Even if they look sorry-looking.
Get them out of the rough roadway of life.
Send a lifeline.
Stop worrying what others think.
Call on Jesus.
And be the one to come, see, stop, pick up, and bring them to safety in the arms of Jesus!
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Mark 1:17 (NIV)