ANDREW…..Fisher of Men
My Dearest Andrew:
It is the eve of your twenty-eighth birthday. It seems that in the last few days God has placed people in my path that had an influence on your life. These people have been coaches, teachers, mentors, and friends who watched you grow up. When running across these people it is not uncommon for them to ask what you are up to these days. As we talk, I shake my head in trying to get my head around that I have a son who is getting a little closer to thirty.
It has become a tradition of recent years to go back to writing letters to you especially on your birthday as I did when you were younger. The last few days I have pondered as to what to say in this letter. Many thoughts flood my mind but putting those thoughts into words on paper don’t come easy. What do you say to a son who is wise beyond his years, who has his feet planted in biblical teachings and in recent years has given me counsel and insights?
This evening as I opened my computer to my site to write your birthday letter, I opened my bible to
Matthew 4: 18-20:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee,
he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter
his brother, Andrew.
They were casting their nets into the lake, for they were fishermen.
‘Come follow me’, Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out
to fish for people. At once they left their nets and
Drew, you have demonstrated that scripture time and time again to Dad and me. You have lived up to the name of Andrew. When you were little you loved getting the fishing pole and going fishing with one of your grandfathers and/or with your dad. It wasn’t so much the fact you wanted to catch a fish but it was the time you spent with this men that was important to you. I know on these fishing trips with your grandfathers and/or dad you were given words of wisdom. They taught you what it means to be true to yourself and God. You learned many life lessons that I have seen you live out in your life.
In my reflecting back over the years, I see where you put your fishing pole down and began fishing for men. I remember the many mission trips I helped you pack and sent you on while in youth group. You were always so pumped and excited to be going to help someone who needed help and needed the love of Christ shown to them. I remember times when you and I would be out and about on errands and someone needed food, money or something of the like and you would pull on my arm asking if we could help the person.
College came. As you began those college years, you became involved in Campus Crusade for Christ. You were limited in how much you could be involved due to your running/training and coursework. However, at every opportunity, you were there being a part of an outreach ministry. Your senior year you were able to go on the Spring Break mission trip. This trip was to the South side of Chicago which was not the safest place in the world but you were determined to go meet up with the group. On your return home, you shared with me how you were assigned different areas in Chicago each day to share the gospel. One of your encounters was talking with an atheist in one of the parks. As you shared your Chicago experience, you told me you planned to go to Chicago to live after graduation. Needless to say, I was stunned. You didn’t know anyone there and had no job lined up. Yet, you had faith and a calling to go. You wanted to do street ministry on the weekends. As I look back on the chain of events, I see where God’s hand was in his leading you to Chicago and how you listened to his voice.
Through these reflections, I also see where God began to nudge you that it was time to move on from Chicago to another adventure. You had your eye on two places in Atlanta. There was one you pursued but it was not in God’s timing for you to be there. God had another stepping stone for you to take in preparing you for what he had planned for you. After a year in this position in Atlanta, the place you once had your eye on, called you. At first, you weren’t so sure if it was the right timing but after they called the second time, you realized this was God opening the door. After prayerful consideration, you walked through that opened door. The irony of this position is that one of your running buddies gave you a book written by the CEO of this firm on graduation and saying; “you never know Drew, you may work for him and his firm one day.” I think at the time it was something that was just a dream for you. Yet, in looking back in that exchange I see God was using your friend to prepare your heart for what was ahead for you on your journey.
Once again, you are fulfilling the name of Andrew, fisher of men. You are a part of a faith-based organization that equips and helps other fisher of men share the gospel to others in communities and around the world. Not only are you working for this faith-based organization but Megan and you are very involved in your church and outreach in your community. It is through your actions I see you are a fisher of men not some of the time but all of the time. You are aware of the needs of those around you. When it comes to giving of yourself, you don’t think twice. You just do it.
My dearest Andrew, as I have told you before, the day you were born a terrible storm came up as I was in labor with you. Yet, just moments after you came into the world, the storm ceased and the most beautiful rainbow was shinning outside our hospital window. Your dad and I took it as a sign from God that he had a special plan for you. As you have grown up, you have listened to his voice and have been obedient to his calling. Many times you have laid down your net and went where God has led you.
While sitting here writing this letter, I have the book, The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss opened. My eyes fell on this sentence on page seventeen; “People who want to claim or reclaim their true north can start by examining their passions by asking what makes their hearts leap.” This one sentence brings things full circle. You were raised to recognize your passion and what makes your heart leap. Then, a few years back, you shot me a message on Facebook one afternoon the question; “What is your passion?” “What makes your heart leap?” You told me to think on it and pray about it and you would get back with me in a couple of days. It is out of your passion, compassion and following the call of Christ is why I have my blog site today. You, my son, have taught me how to be a fisher of men in ways I never imagined I would be doing.
Drew, my wish for you this birthday is to be showered with blessings as you have showered many on your path with blessings and Christ-like love. You have had quite the journey thus far and my heart wells up with joy in seeing all that you have done and are doing. As our family has always said, “we are the only bible that some people will read”, you have made that bible a good read.
Have a wonderful birthday.
I love you very much,
My son, Drew resides in Atlanta with his wife, Megan and four-legged child, Theo. Drew is currently employed by the DeMoss Group as their social media director.