Come and dine

Imagine for a moment
You had lost your best friend, your mentor,
Someone so full of life, who loved to do good,
So connected to God that it was incontestable.
Now he was gone.
You ponder, “Where was God when this dear one seemed to have such a tragic end? 
“This blessed, beloved man—why had he not perhaps saved himself as he saved others?”

Imagine for a moment
Your despondency and hopelessness at this loss.
You go back to work.
Back to fishing, scared to acknowledge your faith,
Deeply saddened by the state of things. 

Imagine for a moment
After a particularly unsuccessful night of hard work at sea,
You receive good advice from a stranger.
Ah! Your nets suddenly overflow with fish.
You walk up the shoreline.
“Come and dine,” 1 invites that same stranger, preparing breakfast.
And suddenly . . . you recognize him.
He is your precious friend you thought you’d lost.
Right there.
He wasn’t suffering; he hadn’t been punished or deserted by God.
Quite the opposite.
He was well, he was happy—ready to inspire.
He was instructing you and mentoring you even still.
You sit. Speechless, elated, humbled.

The thing is, you don’t have to just imagine.
That exact same Christ presence,
That Godlike spirit that Jesus represented centuries ago, 
Is with you now.
Christ is still here, inviting you to “come and dine,” 
When you are disheartened, hurt, frustrated. 

Oh, may I recognize this always-present Christ-idea 
On whatever seashore of grief or doubt I find myself! 
Christ, call me to your feast.
Guide me, renew my hopes, fill me up with love. 

The cherished Christ has never left any of us.  

Marin Van Vleck

1 John 21:12

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