The loss of Jesus slams me to the ground. I tremble at the puzzle of all of this new way.

Yes, He appears but He doesn’t stay. 

I want to go back to what we had before. 

Unsure of next steps, I return to familiar places and do familiar things. 

Stuck, I tuck myself back into comfortable old patterns. 

Yet here in the glue of my stuckness, pesky suggestions from strangers irritate me.

I glare into the sun’s piercing light. A fellow I cannot see offers yet another suggestion from the shore.

“Throw the net out on the starboard side and you’ll find something.”

Seriously? We’ve been fishing all night. Don’t you think we’ve tried every angle???

But we toss the net again, resigned that no good will happen.

I am aggravated and despairing.

The boat shifts. Salt water splashes my face. 

The net fills. 

We struggle to pull it up. We cannot haul it in.


In the chaos of fish flipping onto the floor of the boat, John shouts, “It is the Lord.” 

What? He’s here? Now? 

I leap.

Don’t I always leap?

The others—steadier—row to shore.

I gulp ocean mouthfuls, dashed against waves in my dash to see Jesus.

I rub my eyes at the scene: A fire. Fish cooking. Bread. 

Best of all: Jesus! 

Oh, I’m home again. 

I’m grinning.

I’m laughing. 

I’m giddy from the quick swim and from running in circles of joy. 

My heart pumps hard with jovial wonder. 

“Bring some fish.”

I don’t question how ludicrous this is. 

Jesus, fish are already grilling. But if You ask, I’ll get more fish. 



I leap back into the water.

Energized, I haul the heavy net  of fish to shore, all 153 of them.

Joy sizzles. 


“Come have breakfast.” 


We each watch Jesus with a fresh intensity. 

Jesus offers bread. Jesus offers fish. 


Then, unexpectedly Jesus calls me aside.

An edge of pride brings forth more high spirits in me. Jesus wants time with just me. 

His words are unexpected.

His words bring me to myself. 


Humbled, I tremble at how I have betrayed You. 

The rooster crows every single morning, a daily reminder of my failures. Shame engulfs me. I always blow it.

You firmly encounter the worst of me and give me the best of Yourself. 

You know my betrayal has been eating at me.

Your kind voice feeds me, giving a vision and a hope towards the next steps forward. 

You always offer a way to reinstate me to life. 

You are the risen Christ. 

You want me to rise. 



“Beloved Peter, come have breakfast with Me every single morning.” 

I weep with wonder and joy that You want me near.

You startle me with how You are specific and generous and kind and confronting. 

I come alive under the warmth of Your coals of love.

Featured photos are courtesy of Riddhiman BhowmikJakub Kapusnak, and Alexander Andrews on Unsplash.

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