Getting Through Christmas

I used to help Leo pull nets ’neath the ice
Then come back to fetch, gut, and clean fish with knife
The fish would expire when laid out in cold air
Though some, if thrown back, would soon swim to their lair.

I feel like a fish thrown back into the brine
That floats now half frozen experience mine
I look at the lake all around me and ask
‘Where should I swim to, now numbness has passed?’

Though I have reprieve now, to do life once more
And still I'm quite dizzy from life on that shore.
This lake with its food source more danager by far
With gill net and fish hook in package and jar.

I asked you O Lord, to enlighten my eyes
So when I see evil it’s not a surprise
I guess I should thank you for teaching my way –
A learning experience in plain light of day.

It’s not that I’m frightened to do life once more
Or seeing that evil lurks at my front door
For nothing has changed in my reality
Except eyes are opened – some evil I see.

You taught us to ask for each day – daily bread;
And keep us from evil in ways that we’re led;
To not be so tempted by fish lures and bait;
And for your forgiveness right now without wait;

To go with no visible means of support;
And trust in your goodness laid out in some boat.
But all now I’m aware of – my faith’s meager store;
That strength comes from you when we ask you for more.

When I had expressed my frustrated despair
She listened in silence in cold Christmas air
Then she turned towards me, her story she told,
And strengthened my faith as I lay in that hold.

It wasn’t the text for all different we are
But something in sub-text I heard from afar –
‘Life works , I’m alive and my life moves along
Resources provided enables my song.

‘I know it looks hopeless to you in this boat
The faces of pain subdue lightness and joke
But you’ve been defiant through all of your life
And stood up to hardship in previous strife.

‘In my case I chose not to stop being me
I joked and I flaunted their indignity
It didn’t diminish the facts of my case
But gave room for God to fill me with His Grace.’

Her words gave me courage to look deep within
And search for that laughter they drove out with sin.
I found it and brought it back into my life
A welcome relief trickled all through my strife.

It’s taking a while now I’m back in the water
And not some statistical case of the slaughter
Your gift-lesson learned is, ‘regardless of fate –
Defiantly be the best you in the lake.’