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A Remarkable Tribute for One Who Is Only Wishing to Serve and Befriend Another

The Old Fisherman

Our Love For Our Fellowman and Unselfish Acceptance of The Fact That Each of Us is a Unique Child of God Seems To Change Lifes

Dearest Afton,

Below is a very sweet and tender story. I want to share it with you because in you I see and feel the acceptance of all people. I believe you would definitely be the lady who gave the man “rest when he was weary and unwelcome” in other homes. 

THE OLD FISHERMAN

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door and I opened to see a truly awful looking man. “Why he’s hardly taller than my eight year old”, I thought is I stared at the stooped shriveled body but the appalling thing was his face lopsided from swelling red and raw he had his voice was pleasant as he said: “ Good evening”.

I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night I came for treatment this morning from the eastern shore and there’s no bus till morning:  He told me he had been hunting for a room since noon, but with no success tone seem to have a room. “I guess it’s my face. I know it looks terrible but my doctor says with few treatments” . . . . . .” and for a moment I hesitated, but his words convinced me I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch my bus leaves early in the morning.”

I told him it would be fine. And I will find him a bed but to rest on the porch.

I went inside and finish getting supper. When we were ready I asked the old man, he would join us know.

Thank you. I have plenty”.

And he held up a brown paper bag when I’d finished the dishes I went out onto the porch with him a few minutes.

It didn’t take long, long time at all to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into a little teeny body of his.

He told me he fish for living to support his daughter her five children and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from my back injury.

He didn’t tell it by way of complaint. In fact, every other sentence was prefaced with thanks to God for a blessing.

He was grateful that no pain. THe was tole the  disease which was apparently a form of skin cancer and he thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp caught in the children’s room for him when I got up in the morning, the bed liners plans, the bed linens were mainly fold, fold it in the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast but just before he left for his bus haltingly as if I asked me a great favor. He said,” Could I please come back and stay. The next time I have treatment. I won’t put you out a bit.I can sleep fine in a chair”.

He paused a moment and then added your children made me feel at home grown-ups are bothered by my face but children don’t seem to mind.

I told him he was welcome to come again and on his next trip here arrived a little after seven in the morning as a gift he brought a big fish in a court of the largest oysters had ever seen.

He said he had chucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh.

I knew his boss left at 4am and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us in the years that followed. When he came to stay overnight with us. There was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we receive packages in the mail always by special delivery fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale every leaf carefully washed.

Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and knowing how little money he made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little reminders as I often thought of a comment our next door neighbor made after he left that next morning, or that first morning.

Did you keep that awful looking man. Last night I turned him away you can lose rumors by putting up such people.” Maybe we did lose roomer once or twice but Oh! if only they could have known him perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear.

I know our family always will be grateful to have him for him. We learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and a good a gratitude to God.

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Recently I (the writer of this letter, Marie) was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse and she showed me her flowers. She came to the most beautiful one wall a golden chrysanthemum wrestling with balloons. But to my great surprise it was growing in an old dented rusty bucket.

I thought to myself, if this were my plan I would put it in the loveliest container.

My friend change my mind. “I ran short of pots.” She explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden

She must have wondered why I laugh so deliberately but I was imagining such a scene in heaven.

There’s a beautiful one God might have said when it came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman.

He won’t mind started in this small body.

All this happened long ago and now and get God’s garden how tall this lovely soul must stand.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, ut the Lord looks at the heart.

Afton, I found such a wonderful friend in you!

Friends are very special. They make your smile and encourage succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise.

Thank you for coming to my home for lunch. It was a real privilege for me to have you here. You are just such a sweet and dear lady and I love you.

Thank you for the beautiful plant you brought to me the pedals look like they have been hand-painted. I planted it outside and each year as it brings forth it’s flowers I will think of you

I hope I could be here we’re such a gracious thoughtful woman high value you and your friendship.

It is such an honor to me to call you friend . You are such an elect lady and when I grow up, I really do want to be just like you. I hope I can bless others lives with friendship as you have blessed mine.

You are the most extraordinary “Daughter of a King.” I know our father in Heaven call you one of His elect daughters. Thank you for being my friend.

With much love, Marie

Editors Note: Just who Marie is, we do not know.

Treasured Thoughts and Our Family ValuesThe Old Fisherman – Tribute Letter to Grandma