My Friend Frank by Bill Childers
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Believing is the Answer
There weren't too many times
You'd catch me with a pole.
That is, sitting on a riverbank,
Usually in the early morning cold!
Now, my daddy would be right there,
Not looking like he felt a thing.
He'd be too busy baiting that hook...
For the big one he knew it'd bring.
When he dad the line in the water,
He'd settle back for the wait.
Reminds me of my friend Frank,
A fisherman I've known of late.
It didn't seem to matter for dad or Frank,
If even one fish took all day long.
It was the believing that made the day...
Knowing the best would come along!
The times I went along with my dad
Were mostly just to say I'd been.
And, after a few hours of empty hooks,
I'd say I would never come again.
But, daddy would say that it just takes more
Than just time, hook and line.
He'd say "You've just got to believe...
And, there'll be one there... every time!"
Frank reminds me of my dad,
The patience to let go, and let peace reign.
It takes a special kind of patience, faith
To "just believe"... time and time again.
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You know... thinking about life, living, friends and family, philosophy and fishing, living and being, God and us... I get melancholy yes, but perhaps, even more I feel a growth in the things that matter. Speaking from a human perspective, I'm not certain how I, or anybody, really knows the things that matter. Many would say that fishing doesn't matter, while a fisherman might say that loving or praying doesn't matter... that believing isn't just whether God is, or was, or ever will be... but also taking the time to quiet oneself on the bank of a quiet, flowing stream and wait, believing is possibly making a definite statement about God... life and living.
My friend Frank has helped me to understand much about these things... made me understand that cup of coffee, a firm handshake without words, a quick reply to a question or statement with "Sounds good to me"... makes me feel good about myself, my faith, and what he and I do about the gift that God gave each one of us for our living.
This next writing came upon me a few years ago, probably about the time I first met Frank, about the time when I came to realize that there is life on all sides of the Cross, and its gift to us... His Son, living, being, friends, fishing and believing...
The Back Side of the Cross
Where stands the plight of man,
But on the back side of the Cross.
Shadows lengthen the night of man
On the back side of the Cross.
It matters not the struggle,
The peace not there...
Humankind's got to struggle,
A quest to find where.
The man who hung in blatant pain
To purge the back side of the Cross,
Would put no price on loss or gain
To eternity on that side of the Cross!
He would not speak of debt,
A ledger yet full...
"Twould be no need of debt
Nor anything so cruel.
We who stand yet in defiant pride,
Clinging to "our" side of the Cross,
Struggling lest we're pulled inside,
Forfeiting the free side of the Cross.
Ah, but he knows our plight,
Walked the dusty road,
His beam pierces the night...
Flinging afar the heavy load!
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