Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Fisherman

Wrote a letter to Larry Huntsperger, author of "The Fisherman," recently. (He graciously responded the next day.) This is an amazing book about Peter and his grandest adventure as the best friend of Jesus. The book is out of print as of December, but still available on Amazon. And a journey each of us should be willing to grab our nets, pack a few dry clothes, and climb onto the boat to experience. You may discover how much of Peter you really are.
Here is the email and my own Peter experience.

Mr. Huntsperger,

It was my favorite aisle. Somewhat dark. Secluded. And the book selection excellent. I saved that aisle during my visit to the library to the very end. It was so secluded, like my own private book collection. Row stacked on row stacked on row, I knew the profile of nearly all of these books. After years, their sharp chins and pointed noses were familiar, like the recognizable drawings of Albert Hitchcock and his potbelly.
So there I was, walking that special spot in the universe, when a new book walked up to the line, turned sideways, and waited for acknowledgment. The color of it's complexion caught my eye. "I don't remember you. Who are you? Where did you come from?" I picked it up and met, "The Fisherman."
I wouldn't say it was kismet or even fate. But I read the first paragraph in Chapter One and couldn't put it down. I tried but it stuck, no chewing gum or Karo syrup needed. It just wouldn't budge. Finally, I tore it's talons from clutching my hand and I set it back down. But I needed to read this. I HAD to read this. I stood in my secret garden for a few moments, holding that book yet again, knowing it had to come home with me.
That was perhaps one of the best decisions I made that year, whatever year it was. I LOVED your book. Adored it. I read it and cried and skimmed the words with my mouth open. Sometimes I even added a few head nods. It was a very interactive experience.
Afterwards, I talked about it to everyone. I went to Mardel's, took every copy they had (about three), which was all I could afford, and asked if they'd be ordering more. I even got a copy into the hands of Larry Payton, the owner of Celebrity Attractions and producer of the national stage production, "The Rock and The Rabbi," about Peter and Jesus. The play is one of the best I've ever seen, absolutely amazing, and it reminded me of your book. I told Mr. Payton about it who agreed to read it. A week later, he sent word that he loved it and had passed it on to his wife to read next.
Anytime I've met someone struggling to understand Jesus, I said, "I know this book you should read. If I get you a copy will you read it?"
My father, also a pastor, read it and wept. He said it was incredible and kept my last copy for far too long. I staged a coup and took it back.
I don't know why I'm writing you now. It's been a few years since I read your book, but I still love it. Today, in the midst of deciding to either follow God's voice no matter the destination or sit in my quiet cubicle life and despair, I thought of something in your book, of an imagery I haven't been able to forget.
There was Peter and his crew, tired from fishing all night, and with nothing to show for it. Jesus told them to cast the net one more time. Just one more time Peter. Don't ask questions. Don't explain the tide or the temperature or the lay of the sea. Don't grumble about all the effort you've already exhausted, your unending knowledge of fishing, or your half truths. Just cast the net. And in exasperation, he did.
Suddenly, the waters moved. The surface erupted. And the fish crawled over each other, anxious, willing, excitably even, trying to get into that net. As if they were saying, "I want the honor of following my Creator's voice, even to death. Give that honor to me!"
I've never forgotten that scene. And I realized today, that's what I want. I want the honor of following my Creator's voice, even while I die to myself. So today I searched for you on the web and found one of your friend's on myspace. I know him only as Mr. Jackson. He directed me to your website and email.

So thanks. That's all I wanted to say. You're writing moved me. It did more than that, actually, It affected me. It gave me a vision of a Savior I want to know in perfect clarity. What you did has enriched my faith. And I'm quite grateful. Wordy. But grateful.

Tara Lynn Thompson

P.S. You can visit my blog, if you are ever interested, and read today's blog. I didn't mention the book. But it inspired me to write, "My resignation letter". Thanks. My blog is

P.S.S. I'm going to read your book again.


Anonymous said...

Wow. How do you consistently hit the nail on the head everytime? Will you be my ghost writer?

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

Uh...okay. Sure. Should I start taking notes now? And how much does this gig pay? I want my nights and weekends off.