Peter sat at the stern of the boat, staring blankly at the dark waters before him.
It was a quiet night . They had been out at sea all night. Not a single herring was in sight.
A few mosquitoes were buzzing around his ears. It was as if even they were taunting him.. “You hypocrite! Who had claimed he would never abandon the Master? And who had denied Him before the rooster crowed three times? “
He had gone fishing to escape from the turmoil in his heart. Yet being at sea, which usually filled him with peace failed to provide any solace this time. He realised there was no way you could run away from yourself.
He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to catch some sleep. But images kept flooding his mind.
Memories of the Lord drawing him out of the water.
Of him confessing that the Lord was Christ.
Of his audacious suggestion to build tents for the Lord, Moses and Elijah at Mount Tabor.
And most of all, the Lord’s sad gaze at his third denial.
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Peter cringed. A rock? More like a stumbling block! Surely the Lord had to be wrong about him on this count. After all he had proven himself utterly unworthy by his cowardice.
He glanced over at John, who was sleeping peacefully next to James and Thomas.
Peter sighed. He had always prided himself as a man of courage and action. More than once, he had secretly judged John as being effeminate.
And yet, gentle, quiet John was the only one who had stood stoically by the cross with Mary, providing her the support as she watched her Son being crucified gruesomely .
So much for being a ‘man of action’, he brooded. It was all bravado and it served him right for being so puffed up with pride !
Since sleep eluded him, he decided to check the nets one last time before waking the rest up to call it a night.