Even thought it's a Saturday, I went in for almost a full day's work today. There was a funeral service, without a funeral home, which always adds extra work. If you are ever planning a funeral, please, save yourself the headache and use a funeral home. Most of the time we don't even know what they do until they aren't there to do it and balls get dropped. The service still managed to go smoothly today, and the military rites at the graveside service made me tear up, as they always do.
But first thing this morning, a resident surprised me in the hallway. As I was heading back into my office, I saw Fred coming towards me. I smiled and waved, always happy to see Fred, as he is one of the sweetest gentlemen around. Today, he had his hands behind his back like he was holding something.
"Do you know what Jesus commanded of his disciples in the Bible?" he asked.
"No, what?" I responded, fully expecting him to be telling me some sort of corny joke.
"He told them that they would no longer be fishermen, from now on they would be fishers of men. They would reach people for the Gospel." He pulled a plush rainbow fish out from behind his back. "I got you this, to remind you, that you are a fisher of men. No matter where you go, I believe Jesus is with you, and you will do his work. We are going to miss you here."
I could barely hold back the tears. "I'll miss you too, Fred," I said, and then I gave him a hug.
He handed me the fish and went on his way, not wanting to be late for his coffee meeting with the other men.
I went into my office and snapped this picture of Fred's gift. I want to always remember what this means, and I will carry it with me wherever I go.
Thank you, Fred.