My husband and I had a fight in the boat four days ago while commercial fishing together. In our final words, Duncan told me to “shut up.” I did. For four days.
We’re standing at the fishing nets on the beach now, sewing up the holes that lose us fish. Since that fight, I’ve been staging a bitter chorus line of hurts and wrongs committed over the years.
I look at the ragged holes in the net which look so much like our relationship right now. I watch my hands swiftly weaving in and out. Needle-stroke by needle-stroke, the torn net is cinched as I graft in the other webbing, the old into the new. My spinning, knotting hands speak to me. I see my own part in all of this, my own bent toward selfishness and destruction. I am guarding my heart, nursing my wounds, holding on bloody-fisted to my rights, turning away from those I love most. I am causing rupture and division. Only the gospel of peace, the gospel of forgiveness, can mend me—can mend us.
I look over at Duncan, who is concentrating on a hole, his brow furrowed. Duncan, who works so hard for all of us. I stand up straight, look at him in the eyes until he sees me. I smile and blink my eyes. He watches me for a moment, then smiles and blinks back. We nod, looking at each other for a few seconds, then we laugh and turn back to the last meshes in our hands. This net is almost mended.
Leslie Leyland Fields is an Alaskan commercial fisherwoman and award-winning author of several books, including Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus Through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt, and the Seas. Learn more at www.leslieleylandfields.com. This devotional content is adapted from Crossing the Waters, copyright © 2016 by Leslie Leyland Fields. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.