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It Was a River Rescue to Remember

Ahh...This photo, taken several years ago, looks to be an image of summertime bliss, of serenity, pleasure, relaxation. And it is all of that. My son, Nick, was the photographer and videographer directing the shoot that day in a favorite dry-fly stream here in SW Colorado.

You can't really tell from the photo, but he was stationed far above the water, up a steep hill from where I was fishing, utilizing his abundant variety of cameras and lenses to capture an idyllic day of fishing a high-country stream. I was there to be an example of ‘women who fly-fish’ as part of one of Nick’s client projects for a well-known fly-fishing equipment company.

But once you place this single frame into the set of images that were about to unfold, it tells a very different story. For in the minutes following the capture of this photo, the photographer became the rescuer! And my mind’s video capture of the incident was instantly made indelible in my heart and soul.

I was taking Nick’s direction re: when to cast for the camera’s sake; and when to demonstrate the whole process: site fish, set the hook, bring it to the net, and dish it up gently in my hands for the photographer to capture the reward, before carefully releasing the fish back into its happy place.

I was just getting past the stage fright, and starting to realize how frequently my casts were producing catches, when I spotted two men in fishing garb downstream from me noticing my cast-to-catch ratio. What I didn’t realize was Nick was more aware of what may be happening next than I was.

Before I could read and react, the two fishermen had hustled along the bank and were getting in the stream right beside me – discourteously close, in fact, uncomfortably close. At the same moment I was registering all of this, and feeling overwhelmingly unprepared for such a situation, I heard Nick’s stern voice, getting louder as he was quickly descending the steep hill from which he had been filming.

Although I know my son to be an introvert, there was nothing shy about his dressing down of these fishermen. In no uncertain terms, he called out their breach of fishing etiquette, and uncovered their explicit intention to take advantage of what they thought was a female alone in a fish-rich stretch of water. They were speechless. So was I.

I had to fight back tears as I tried to catch up with what just happened.

What kept circling in my mind was I’ve been rescued! And as time went by that day, into the next; and even into the weeks, months, and years following this incident, my singular thought developed into a beautiful point of healing for me.

You see, growing up I took on a story that had just enough truth to it to fool me into agreeing with it, that I was not worth protecting. So, when I experienced not being protected, it added more weight to that mistaken thinking. I entered adolescence and

went into adulthood not expecting to be rescued or protected.

Even as my relationship with God grew and deepened, I wasn’t able to fully see Him as my Rescuer or Protector. I had no mental image of what that looked like.
Until I watched my son flying down that steep hill to rescue me from the encroaching fishermen, proclaiming my right to this stretch of water, and implicitly, affirming my right to be rescued, my worthiness of being protected.

From that day to today, I readily pull up that sacred image when I need bolstered in my belief in God as my Rescuer and Protector.

A dear friend and spiritual companion calls it remembering forward when you draw up vignettes of God’s previous faithfulness to help you believe He will do it again in the present or future.

I guess God knew I needed a human connection, a flesh-and-blood example to break through my mistaken thinking from childhood. Maybe we all need those imperfect but touchable examples of God’s attributes demonstrated through mere human jars of clay.

I’ve recounted this significant scene in my story to encourage you to cull the video reel of your own for significant scenes. I believe God is always after healing - moving us towards wholeness, redemption, reconciliation. He wants to correct our mistaken thinking about who we are, who He is and who He desires to be in our lives. And many times He uses people to do this work.

From Psalm 91:14-16 – Personalized for you:

Because ____ loves You, Lord, You will rescue her/him.

You will protect ____ for she/he acknowledges Your name.

____ will call on You, and You will answer her/him; You will be with ____ in trouble, You will deliver ____ and honor her/him. With long life You will satisfy her/him and show ____ Your salvation.

To ponder...

Can you identify a wound that became a story you agreed with to the detriment of discovering who you were really created to be?

What might be distorting your view of God, making it difficult for you to see Him in the way you need to right now?

Can you pull up a scene from your story where a person embodied an attribute of God? Might its recollection be helpful in creating a mental image of God in that role in your life?

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Blessed to play a part ~


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