YOU HELP THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN YOU
“If you let him, the life you love, you get the blessings, from above.”
(Van Morrison: Whenever God Shines His Light)
I’ve been really excited to get to this section in the Conduit. Many have no concept of the idea that You help those that believe in You because they live in a matrix that is all about exclusivity and individual rights. A matrix that builds apotheosis mindsets. I recall many times my parents or coaches preaching this saying; “You work in mysterious ways.” Hence, believe, take a step forward, and You will take a step alongside.
In light of the fact I caught on many years ago, I thought I’d go down this trail of documenting some of Your miracles, or rather miracles You bestowed upon our species. Ironically, some chose to never believe, so this again is my attempt to explain my disposition…
To begin, on a macro scale, I consider this Earth we live on and the universe/world we occupy to be a miracle. Really, the design and the concept is one that only a genius the likes of You could create. In my humble opinion, if science would like me to accept their findings regarding the “something-from-nothing” Big Bang argument, or that because of gravity something can become of nothing, then explain who designed that?
Quite frankly, I wished most of these quantum and evolutionary brilliant minds worked from a premise that starts with You. This would be a miracle in its own right.
I truly believe that when we take a “micro” view of who we are in regard to organic, sentient, intelligent, and conscious beings that You could miraculously give us all these characteristics and directions in something the size we can only see in a microscope, the atom. Really, 3.5 billion letters, the longest word in any language to make our hearts a heart, two lungs, and our minds an eternal being (to name a few) does not just happen by chance and evolution.
For You to establish us in Your image through a factory the size of an atom, in parable a sentient computer and software of this magnitude, is about as miraculous as imagination can take us. Science, which I love, can prove many things (see: 9/11-Experts speak out); but, cannot explain how miraculous this little factory is, one of trillions to the power of trillions, to make-up Your world, Word, and superior intelligence. Some would argue we came from nothing, then a big bang, then from stardust, then monkeys, then…
Question, how do we start from nothing and become something? Answer, intelligent design. Sarcasm intended, it would also be miraculous were science to explain how inorganic (stardust) becomes organic (all living matter) without divine/Your intervention. Furthermore, explain the software’s designer.
I consider Your conversations with Moses to be a miracle. I mean, forty thousand people enslaved for seventy years. It took a miracle to eradicate that type of existence without an armed rebellion. Plagues, come on, miraculously thought out!
If the plagues were not a significant enough reminder, we retell the story of the exodus every year on Passover. The idea that You parted the Red Sea is absolutely miraculous. If those around at the time didn’t believe in Your divine interest, they sure did when the sea was parted…
On a more cynical note Lord: Don’t You find it “miraculous” or comical that from the private business sector in America that Elon Musk sent one of his Tesla Roadsters to do a big donut around our sun? It is only ninety-three million miles away (?), and then arrive back to Earth in millions of years? Funny thing about that little space traveling Roadster. They “accidentally” only equipped the craft with a battery life of few hours to operate the camera, and believe it or not, the gorgeous red paint job did not show one mark of heat-stress as it passed through the Van Allen Belt of over 4,000 degrees (f) temperature and intense radiation. I guess Mr. Musk must also be a magician.
First, he needed to not only have us onlookers believe he could get his convertible red buggy through the Van Allen Belt, but then penetrate the Firmament. Second, the powder coating Musk used held up better than the millions of tons of steel that melted at a much lower temperature during the 9/11 Twin Towers catastrophe in New York City? Go figure??? As Big fish stories go…Oh my again.
The miraculous idea that You would have an army of Stars is not so surprising considering these Stars must have been followers of Your Commandments. With the super power they possess, this could only be attributed to the super power they showed while on Your Earth’s surface. They did not fall prey to demonic influences and participated as best they could within Your kingdom and playing field (those little ol’ Ten Commandments).
It seems miraculous that You would design such a structure for mankind to create and live Your vision - that a selective few could not penetrate, even with atomic devices, the canopy that protects our world.
I certainly find it miraculous how You created this world we live in over the time-span of seven days. Really six, but who’s counting considering on the seventh You took the day off. Ironically, most do not consider the “day off” important so they chose to work through it in this modern capitalistic society.
I know, I know; let’s give us the benefit of the doubt because the Mandela Effect has had its claws in all of us and pagan pride was/is rearing its ugly head…but…we’ll get there…I just know it…I love the Sabbath! It truly is a great reward for a hard week’s effort.
The miracle in context is that You gave us the day off. That almost seems unpalatable given our current financial position as a whole. We’re twenty-one trillion dollars in debt financially as a country, and no sign of that being reduced anytime soon. If You had given us eight days in a week, due to financial constraints, we would work all eight. The pagan entity is making sure we do not honor the Sabbath. Survival is replacing the day’s off. It’s fact. It’s so tough to break from its claws…but it MUST be done. Seventy years of purgatory is historical proof. Israel paid a very, very harsh penalty for ignoring your sabbaths and years of jubilee!
It is a miracle that I have been awakened from a matrix mind-warp; hopefully in time to share the results of great re-research and have others see Your vision.
It surely is miraculous that You would send Your Son down here to try to get the record straight, and/or move humanity along to a more ethical and spiritual existence. The outcome is debatable at this stage in human existence; however, the fact that Jesus’ virgin birth was a game plan You designed stands on its own as a miracle. Knowledge and technology were nowhere on the same playing field at that time.
The rise of Jesus after his death was certainly miraculous. What a sight it must have been for those elitists as well all humanity to see You lift Your Son back into Your heavenly quarters. For those within his astonishing presence, I’m certain their jaws were on their chest during the occurrence. Pure marvel and awe!
On a side note, when you get a moment Lord, can You please shed some light on why my Jewish brethren refuse to accept Your Son as the Messiah? I mean, in his book, Isaiah, a devout member of the Jewish faith, prophesied three hundred years after King David, that You would send Your Son, Jesus. In his estimate - seven hundred years from the prophecy. He wasn’t being a modern-day Nostradamus. No, he was telling the future generations of his people what Your plan entailed. Can we all rely on the source, believe it?
I would consider it a miracle that some of the Jewish population that had been exiled actually found their way back to Your “promised land.” This in itself is a miracle, because I exist.
I also find it miraculous that a group of rebels would try to ascend to Your lofty heights by building a tower a mile and a half high. To organize such a plot to dethrone You and get all those followers to buy into it is truly miraculous. Your solution to the greed and want was a sign of absolute genius and a miracle in its own right; sending a message to all humanity.
Is it me, or do any others find it unbelievably miraculous that You would open up Your oceans from beneath, unveil the Firmament canopy and allow the sky to rain for forty days and forty nights? Does anyone think it not genius to wipe the human/bio-engineered class of species off the face of this Earth because our Creator had enough of his image getting defaced?
Anyone else find it miraculous that our Creator has not done the same to our civilization considering the demonic nature into which we have evolved? His patience with us is miraculous in its own right.
I find it a miracle that with all the great scientists and historians who roam this great surface we inhabit that it has taken this long to change the premises from which we have been taught over these past several hundred years.
I find it miraculous that a country containing some wonderful, great, bright, affable, surprisingly balanced individuals have allowed themselves to be funneled/led down a path that subliminally has its population spoofed. Many live the perceived reality because they are so locked into the Authority’s program. The matrix the present world lives in is massively binding; therefore, many are participating or playing on the wrong team…we just don’t realize it!
Imagine doing a corkscrew maneuver on the ridge of Mt Tyndall at 14,000’ elevation, exposing the face of ones’ body from the rock one is clinging to, to open space and a 2,000’ free-fall, using a blind finger pull and toe grip…then with a pull and a hop onto a thin trail. I still get queasy and with goosebumps thinking about the miracle of You and Mr. Tagert helping me to accomplish such a risky feat…for the simple thrill of signing the summit log.
I would want to say that my two children are miracles. Each was born with all the tools needed to live out Your vision; they are priceless!!
If the path to creating miracles starts the way Coach Wooden advised, “the best things happen to the people who make the best of the things that happen,” then I would have to be inspired to share the success of “the secret.” As a miracle, I put it out there to the universe and to You Lord, while staring out into the starlit evening in the backyard of the home I once called my temple, that I wanted to have my path cross with a woman whose love was real and who appreciated a spiritual experience within the relationship. Thank You!!! This breath of freshness, purity, love, and divine interest is as sweet as Tupelo Honey and as cool as any angel You cared to ever have cross my path!
Would it not be just to suggest that many sports contests end in somewhat of a miracle? For example, I’ve witnessed some athletic accomplishments that had all in attendance looking up to the heavens, knowing You had something to do with the outcome. I know it’s crazy to think that You prefer one team over another; yet, we are constantly reminded as sports fans that anything can happen in a contest. It is vitally important to tame the emotions until the final whistle blows, the wall is touched, or the checkered flag is waved.
The 1980 USA hockey team pulled off the miracle of miracles as they upset the world’s best team in the semifinal round of the Olympic Games, then later winning the finals. In Al Michaels words, “Do you believe in miracles?”
In sports; I witnessed a swimmer competing on my father’s high school team win an individual event and help his team win a city championship from the Lane 8 position. As events go in championship contests, there wasn’t a person in the arena who thought this Lane 8 swimmer could beat the field. Knowing that my father did not want to have this swimmer shave prior to the final event (the finals), it was almost miraculous he timed well enough to make it to the top eight swimmers contending for a title.
When the gun sounded to start the event, all eyes were on the top swimmers in lanes 4 and 5. Then, by the turn, all eyes shifted to Lane 8. A city record was the pace; Lane 8 was driving the field. When the mass of eight bodies came to the finish, all within tenths of a second of one another; the Lane 8 miracle was sealed. I came out of my chair and nearly flew into the pool. I can remember this Lane 8 experience like I remember David taking down Goliath.
It would not surprise me if those in attendance during David’s clash with the titan didn’t think it would take anything short of a miracle for him to succeed. So cool of You Lord to be in his corner!!
I know I can speak for an entire university, well make that two universities: It was miraculous that a poor, under-armed, under-skilled, and less ranked sorry excuse for a team was able to knock off the #2 team in the nation on the final Saturday of the college football regular season.
For those in the know, the numbers are 13-9. The good guys tallied the 13; meaning the bad guys got taken down by a satanic number. With the chance at playing for a national title with one “easy” win, the big bad giants of Troy got bit.
Every single person who can claim some stake in the cross-town rivalry in Pasadena’s fabled Rose Bowl that day can say that that game had miracle written all over it. I was standing mid-stadium, about the forty-yard line, twenty-five rows up with my youngest son. His tears of joy with the scoreboard in the backdrop were priceless.
Thinking along the lines of great games; I would have to suggest it was a miracle that my little brother and I won as many games as we did as youngsters, now knowing he was born with a brain tumor and was basically playing injured since his first breath. I love the miracle he was and the heroism he possessed. A true blessing and miracle to a fan like myself.
Half joking, I thought it was a miracle I could hang onto a pass thrown by one of the greatest passers of the past 100 years. Let me set the stage…
The football team at the high school I attended was practicing one morning during summer school when a tall, 6’3”, skinny (maybe 160 pounds), blond-haired kid walked onto our practice field. Many on the team knew each other from Pop Warner, youth tackle football leagues, and from school. None of us knew who this new kid was.
Our coach, renowned for his “spread/west coast offense” called the team together in the middle of the field to introduce us to the new kid on the block. His father was the new head football coach at the local university; moving the family from the State of Washington down to Southern California.
When the coach asked the question, “What position do you want to play,” this potential Hall of Fame prospect said; “I was a tight end playing youth football, but I would like to give the quarterback position a try.”
A couple of my longtime teammates who played the same position were really good, so I was not expecting much in way of supplanting their hierarchy.
As luck would have it, I was a receiver on the team and found myself in a drill where I would catch this newcomer’s first and second throws. On his second throw, a little five yard down and out, I found myself squeezing the ball on the back end to make the catch. I can recall my hands feeling blistered from making the catch.
The last time I had felt that kind of sting was when I was a water boy for my father’s football team prior to enrolling in high school and had the opportunity to catch passes from a player that went on to play at Stanford University and the San Francisco 49rs.
Considering that at the time my father was still coaching for a rival high school, I could not wait to tell him about the newcomer. That evening upon our return home our conversation turned to football. I told him, ‘I think our school has just acquired the next Guy Benjamin.” Smiling of course, since we were rivals… “his name is John Elway. He will be a Hall of Fame quarterback someday.” Seriously, my father will bear witness to those comments. As miracles go, I was delighted to have caught a few of his practice throws but I ended up being disappointed when I broke my ankle and leg prior to being able to participate in real game action.
And, also as miracles go…John was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame upon the conclusion of his career. That prophecy did bear fruit. He literally was a miracle waiting to happen. Just ask those pesky ol Cleveland Browns about “The Drive.” Just ask the many teams who relinquished the ball to him in the closing moments of many highly competitive contests. Just ask any coach trying to defend and defeat him why he is considered one of the all-time best. I saw that miracle waiting to happen and am so thankful I had an opportunity to get to know him and his magical characteristics. He wore number “7,” that had to be an influence! That’s his story and I’m sticking to it with him.
One last point regarding John and miracles: It was miraculous that after I beat him in a friendly game of ping pong that the paddle he threw across the table that stuck in the garage door didn’t stick in my head. Miraculous in that he missed his target. It did not happen often!
I take that back Lord, one more fun fact: Miraculously, John still owes me $50 from a bet we made many years ago. I say miraculously because the way in which we got to that end was a miracle in itself…
As many know, John was a fantastic three-sport athlete while he was in high school. Not only did he excel on the gridiron, his batting average was over 450, and his basketball skills may have led him into the NBA as a guard. It was these skills that are the subject of the little bet…
Both John and I played on our high school basketball teams, I was a “C” player and John was a “B” player while we were in the 11th and 10th grade, respectively. Both teams were coached by the same individual; just as both the JV and Varsity teams were coached by another individual. Considering the C and B teams practiced together, the two of us and another friend-a senior at the time, often played poker after school and before basketball practice started…
On this particular day, I had won $50 from John at our buddy’s kitchen table poker parlor. I could not have been any happier considering I wanted to ask this really pretty girl out and now had the money, well an I-O-U, anyway. Upon finishing our stretching exercises our coach told all the starters from both teams to go into the woman’s gym and shoot one hundred free-throws. I grabbed a ball off the rack and ran into the gym to get a center court hoop to shoot at. John followed shortly thereafter. This is when the miracles began that would be forever etched in my memory.
As John runs into the gym and saw me under the far basket he yells out, “Hey Bryan, fifty dollars, all or nothing if I make a half-court shot?”
I was feeling so confident that I would have $100 in three seconds I said, “sure!”
John took a couple dribbles to half court then launched a rainbow of a shot. It was so high up I thought it might hit the gymnastic cables dangling forty feet above our heads. As we both looked on, the rainbow miraculously hit nothing but net on its way through the hoop. Needless to say; John started laughing hysterically. Then he gives me that look that says, “I can do magic.” Since John was not known to walk on water just yet, the thought he might later in life certainly occurred…
A little shaken but still having the resolve of a David and a Maccabean warrior, and although I had nowhere near his gifts, a love of sports was very close to my heart too. I offered back; ”$50 from half court, You want that deal?” He’s still laughing, thinking he’s going to have won $100 in about two minutes, replying; “good luck, you’re going to need it.”
I took a couple of dribbles to half court then bank swished the shot. He was screaming again as I lay laughing until my ribs hurt on the center court line thanking You!
Still down fifty dollars now, John was in a bit of dismay. He would not quit as many know. He begrudgingly gathered his ball, which he chucked up to the sky in disgust, or was that in amazement. Then he licks his shooting fingers and calls another fifty dollar shot. I helplessly grumble…then foolishly agree.
“Bank swish” was John’s money-ball call while it was in the air. Sure enough…the backboard and twine sang an improbable tune. Needless to say, John was screaming wildly with joy. That boy sure enjoys winning, as we all got to know…
Miraculously, that was three half court shots made consecutively. Unheard of even against a no betting line.
In light of the ridiculous odds, I was not finished. Definitely perturbed with John dancing around the floor, smiling, laughing, while fifty bucks was dangling within my reach, I had to attempt another!
The ball was in my court, I wasn’t backing down…even to this future Hall of Fame Quarterback. The reward, if accomplished, was burning a hole in my pocket. I could taste that nice dinner out…
Besides; chuckle, I had You in my corner.
One dribble and I launched a real rainbow with perfect backspin. To see that thing of beauty swish through the hoop was like watching “The Logo”, Jerry West, hit a game winner against the Knicks with no time left on the clock. I was in shock to be honest; however, the shot felt good the second it left my hand.
To say John was dejected would be a gross understatement. He wanted more action. Unfortunately, that’s when the fun and games ended.
Our observant coach walked into the gym as the fourth half-court shot brought the house down. He verbally called out our friend who was screaming with disbelief, who happened to be one of the eye-witnesses to this small miracle, John, and myself. He asked us to remove ourselves from practice and go into the locker room. Upon his arrival we simply could not stop laughing. He admonished us for our leadership ability as the rest of the members of the team stood watching. In awe I might add, nobody had ever seen anything like it. It was supernatural, if one cared, from my objective opinion.
He asked us what was so funny, and we reluctantly told him the reason.
It was a small miracle the three of us did not get kicked off the team, and an even bigger miracle that we hit four bombs with money riding on every shot!
So John, should you find your eyes reading this “Big Fish Story” and/or our paths cross once again in life I imagine You will either offer the cash with interest or double or nothing the bet. Perhaps on the hoop in your backyard. Consider me game! Story aside, I hope you and your family are well! Hope you enjoyed the memory as much as I did.
Miracles come in many different packages!
Before I get to some very cool miracles related to Big fish, literally, there are a few more I can recall…
For a short distance runner with some quickness and good hand-eye coordination, I could play almost any sport with some success.
Note: Ninety-nine percent of the time you would also find me bringing up the rear of the line-up. Tall guys to short guys was/is standard.
I had played three sports in high school, and prior to enrolling I swam for the local park club team. I always admired those athletes who could go the distance, as in a marathon distance. This distance would represent another David vs. Goliath parable.
So with some training and prior to my first child, I miraculously competed in two Los Angeles Marathons, 92’ and 93’. I say miraculously because the training was treacherous, and the run was even more so. Although I finished both marathons in a slower than anticipated time, it was still a miracle in my mind because both were noteworthy. In 92’ Muhammad Ali was the starter, and a great friend jumped in at mile 21 to inspire for few miles. What a blessing it is that he is my friend/brother!! In 93’, it was 107 degrees (f) on the course that second Sunday in March. I thought I was going to die upon completion as many runners were given ambulance rides from heat exhaustion and dehydration. And I was in better shape than the prior year. Had I not…I will not go there.
In any regard, it’s a miracle I finished and didn’t die. Thank You. I promised myself I will not run another…promise!
I’d have to say that the results of going in for a 54-year-old colonoscopy turned out to be miraculous. After the procedure, barely awake from the anesthesia, the physician tells me he made an appointment for me to see a surgeon the following Thursday morning. It was a Tuesday at the time. When I asked why, he suggested that I needed to have a cat-scan to visually see the inside of my body from the neck down to my colon prior to my visit with the surgeon. The idea of visiting a surgeon on such short notice only suggested one thing to a chicken of the hospital like me, they get paid to cut people open.
I followed instructions and showed up on time. Considering it was only two days from the time I was under the colonoscopy eye of technology, nerves flourished, and I was whole heartedly concerned.
The surgeon, a very cool gentleman who was probably half my age and ran ultra-marathons had me take a seat next to his monitor. He started the video from the top of my neck. It was a good thing he did because had he started above my neck; I think he would have uncovered a bunch of loose marbles. Just saying…I was scared.
He moved the video forward as the camera scanned through my lungs and down to my lower abdomen. He noted I had an enlarged set of lungs and heart. Aside from that, everything was on the small size as it pertains to the average size of organs. I guess that’s a good thing…who knows at this point?
Then he gets toward the end of the colon and freezes the frame. With his handy dandy red laser light he pointed to a white object on what appeared to be the outside of my appendix. He asked if I knew what that little body part was and what I imagined this white spot to be. Of course, I told him I had no idea. “That’s what you get paid for Doc,” I believe were my comments.
He suggested that I was a walking miracle; in that, my appendix was completely shut down and needed to be treated as an extreme emergency. He said he had ordered surgery to remove it the following day, Friday, at 6am. This was “life or death,” as I received his message.
“But Doc, I walked in here a perceived healthy man. You want to cut me open in the morning. I don’t even have a Will filled out.”
He suggested, “write one down tonight and I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow. The nurse will give you instructions. Get a good nights sleep if you can…”
With that, I hustled back home, scribbled a few words down that would act as a Will, and started praying to You Lord. I was so thankful this little body part hadn’t burst yet; nonetheless, I was so nervous at the thought of going under the knife. I know the surgeon did this arthroscopic type procedure; yet, he was entering my body in three holes. Any slip of the hand/instrument and the sucker would burst. No, I wasn’t worried…uhggg!
Upon coming to after surgery, my man the miracle Doc ran a biopsy on the little devil and reported good news. “You are a very, very lucky guy. We got what we went in for and you will be fine. There was nothing to be concerned about regarding the white material on the outside of the appendix, it turned out to be benign. I’m headed to Houston to run an ultra-triathlon with my wife. If I make it…I’ll see you back here in a week. Get some rest and do not push it until I see you again.”
“Ahh Houston, I mean Doc, thank you very much for saving my life and good luck in the race…My money says you will finish.” Barely a smile would follow; yet, a definite sigh of relief. I must have prayed to You Lord enough to help in all regards. Thank You!! I know You have to be in my corner. Your signs are everywhere!
As I’ve expressed above, getting the message from You and my little brother the other day atop the mountain road can be considered a miracle of sorts. I mean, I’ve used a compass on many backpacking trips and have literally driven over a million miles in a car and have never seen a compass act like it did that memorable Sunday morning. To one who is a teammate of “all things” being miraculous this may seem slight in comparison to some miracles You help perform; yet, I am not at all against even the slightest of hints of one, as I know it’s Your way of fulfilling a proud journey.
You know I’m going to suggest, “keep them coming Lord!” I am always so, so grateful and appreciative of any sign You send my way!
I know I can go on and on and on regarding simple little miracles that take place on a daily basis; however, to conclude this chapter it might be enjoyable to recall a couple fishing stories that I have deemed miraculous.
Let’s see if You and the reader agree…
After a very long, late August day of practicing real estate, losing three listing opportunities to agents undercutting the commission I suggested, and feeling the heat from door knocking for six hours, I decided to take a rod, reel, and some lucky lures down to one of my favorite beach communities where I would soak my heated thoughts away, casting into the great big pond called the Pacific Ocean. I was fishing along a shoreline that was home to very prominent kings. These homes would be of kings to the financial, business, and entertainment professions, as well as home to fish kings of the underwater world.
The real estate along this gorgeous stretch of shoreline is lined with multi-million-dollar castles on one side of the sand and multi-natural rock structures beneath the surface of the water on the other side.
As I cast my lucky lure and walked for about two hours, I circled back to finish in the same place I started. It was still a mile walk back to my car and I was getting hungry. The sunset on the horizon was a thing of beauty, with big white cotton candy type clouds dotting the sky. There was a warm breeze coming off the land; yet, the two feet of water I was standing in was refreshing to say the least.
On this last cast, as miracles would happen, the lips of a giant king of the underwater world found their way onto my lucky lure. When I say giant, I mean giant compared to the tackle I was using.
I had brought with me a very light line outfit, one rated at #4-10 lbs while I fished #8 test line. I could tell immediately the predator was large. In fact, this was like taking a knife to an AK-47 shootout. I wouldn’t do either; however, the 8 lb. test made for a real gamy battle. Neither one of us had any control during the fifty-minute fight.
When I felt that infamous tap-tap on the end of my line I was really excited. The fish grabbed my offering and proceeded to head for Catalina Island. I ran up the beach, trying to conserve the remaining line on my nearly empty reel and then cut back down the beach as this bruiser thought he’d catch a few of the big waves breaking just outside in the surf zone.
Back and forth I would run, gaining a little line here and a little line there. In the final stages of battle, I saw this giant swim horizontally in a seven foot plus wave. I think my jaw dropped far enough to almost choke on the white water that was breaking around my chest. Holding the rod as high in the air as I could, taking wave after pounding wave; the kindness of the Pacific finally offered a swell that allowed me to bring the beast onto the sand. It literally fell off the top of the crest of the last wave; crashing to the sand about three feet from the waterline as it retreated.
I ran down to the fish, wrapped my hand in a white-knuckle grip around its tail and hauled the warrior up to higher sand and safer ground.
One of the local kings came down to the sand from his castle’s backyard to ask a few questions and take some photos with his cell phone camera. He mentioned that he had really enjoyed watching the battle and asked what type fish it was. I paused, not knowing exactly who this king was and suggested, “it’s a fish out of water,” while brimming grandly.
I gave him a business card while he snapped a few photos. I would have preferred him wanting me to help him sell his kingdom, this multi-million-dollar estate on the sands of paradise; however, I’ll graciously accept a photo and the memory of his presence. Maybe he’ll call at a further date and offer me a part in his upcoming movie, Young Man of the Sea… ya never know? Recreating this scene though will take divine intervention…
The beast on the sand wasn’t the white sea bass I thought I saw swimming while hooked in one of the massive cresting waves. No, this was a giant saltwater Striped Bass. I’ve never caught one on this shoreline, or in the local lakes for that matter; however, it was a species I had to do some investigating on because this big guy, caught on #8 lb. test line may classify as a World Record… believe it or not!
The unofficial weight taken was captured at one of my favorite sushi restaurants. Mr. Stripe Striper hit the scale two hours after catch at twenty-five pounds. Oh boy, there’s that magical energy seven again, bringing good fortune in mystical ways (2+5=7).
The research on giant Stripers showed that this 25 pound warrior was nowhere close to being the largest Striper caught with rod and reel from a beach location. There were several fish over 50 lbs. caught from the shoreline on the east coast. What I did find out was that the research indicated this could very well have been the largest Striper ever caught on #8 mono on any coast of America that was not a landlocked or freshwater catch. Ironically this species can live in either fresh or saltwater.
Research indicated that records for line class do not exist on ocean caught Striped Bass. I would venture to guess, though, this very well could have been one of the few giants ever caught on this particular stretch of beach. As a native to the area and an avid fisherman I am quite certain no one has accomplished this feat, aside from maybe fisherman of the Chumash native American Indian tribe. Then again, the Indians would have had to use very elementary gear. With the jaws of destruction below the fish’s belly, my guess is they would not have had the right gear to do the job. Hard to prove this one.
As for miracles, this definitely was one because of all the many days I’ve spent trying to catch big fish using this line-class. This ranks up there with my personal best. Even if me and You Lord were the only ones to witness this catch, aside from the Backyard King and a few local surfers, I can derive a great deal of pride from it. It took a small miracle for the line to not snap or the hook to pull free from the sharp pointed claws of rocks beneath the fish’s belly, and then from the fish hurling itself out towards Catalina and through and over some really remarkable big waves.
Miracles come in many shapes, sizes, and forms. Once again, I’ll choose to see everything in a way that reveals the stamp You have put on it. A supernatural high five, a huge hug, and an I love You because I always want to let You know I am grateful for everything You enlighten me with! You really made this memorable and sensational!
Note: Should any readers care to know the exact location this feat took place; email me on the website listed in the reference section and I’ll be happy to direct you. If I can be of service by way of selling you some very expensive land along this location’s glorious stretch of beach, I’d be happy to assist in this regard as well. I’m looking forward to hearing from all you enthusiasts!
A final miracle associated fishing tale I can share with You and the reader is one in which I experienced the full gambit of emotion; an onslaught of sadness and happiness at the same time.
I mentioned the idea of taking a vessel out of one of the many ports here in Southern California earlier in the Conduit, well, this next story involves traveling via one of those cool vessels from San Diego’s fabled port, Fisherman’s Landing. Our destination on this seven day offshore long-range trip was a world-renowned fishing spot called Guadalupe Island.
The Island is located approximately 225 miles southwest of the famous landing and about the same distance from the coast of Mexico. The Island does not have many, if any now, full-time residents. It is a magnificent outcropping of land that some say creates its own weather patterns. For this particular trip I was excited to go because there was word from other long-range boats that some big fish, 100 plus-lbs., had been sighted recently at the Island.
Although fishing brings out a passion in me that I can’t attain in any other walk of life, I decided to pass on it if there were problems at home or with family battling old age or illness. In this particular case, my grandmother on my mother’s side was lying in a senior care facility succumbing to dementia and old age. My mother expressed that Grandma hadn’t opened her eyes in several days, and that if I wanted to say my last goodbyes, I would need to do so soon. The trip was scheduled to leave San Diego on a Monday and return the following Sunday.
On the previous Thursday I had a chance to go down to Grandma’s facility and speak to her. Considering her eyes had not opened for days I thought I would just see if I could cheer her up and see her eyes open one last time.
After walking in, verbally saying hello and kissing her on her cheek, there was no doubt my mother was right about the severity of her predicament. Grandma was a little bitty lady, and as pure a soul as one would ever find. I know she is with You Lord, she honored Your Commandments and her disposition was all the proof one would need. I do not think there was a mean bone in her body. She was stern for a bitty lady, especially running after me when I was devilish as a child with a broomstick above her head. LOL; however, she was genuinely grounded in You Lord… grounded in the right way.
In any event, after saying hello and kissing her, I then proceeded to tell her I was going to massage her feet like she would do for me when I was a small child and my feet were sore from playing ball all day long. As I began to rub her feet, I started telling her about this exciting trip I had planned and the visit to this renowned Island. My Grandpa was a fisherman too. I know, may he too rest in peace, he visited this island in his younger days and talked of the spectacular fishing he experienced when he was there. As Grandma lay motionless and barely breathing, my fingers messaging her warm feet, I asked her if she remembered Grandpa’s stories about Guadalupe Island. Without a reply, I just kept right on talking…
“Grandma; the trip will be leaving within a few days. I know You are not feeling all that well. I don’t want to go on this trip knowing you may need some support. I also know that you would advise me that you would not want me to stop living on the basis of the unknown…”
I almost fell off the back end of her bed when she opened her eyes, winked at me, and smiled.
I would keep talking and rubbing; yet, she would slip back into that dementia zone immediately. About twenty minutes later, Grandma lying in a motionless but peaceful way in my mind, I kissed her goodbye, told her that I loved her, then headed for my tackle locker at home to begin getting my gear ready for a trip of great promise.
I know Grandma was telling me to not wait around for her last few breaths and then the funeral. Furthermore, only You Lord know exactly when each of our journeys will find its way to Your pearly gates. Besides, I could always go after the fact should she pass while I was away.
She was so cool in this regard!!
After a few days at sea and then anchoring up in a zone around the Island called Tuna Alley, I thought about Grandma around the clock. It’s really not all that fun knowing Your grandma is on her final days…so many memories.
About 12:30 that Wednesday afternoon, anchored up now in big fish heaven, I was up on the top deck watching the kite fisherman using a set of binoculars. Kite fishing can be effective because sometimes the conditions on the water call for bait to be distributed 100-150 yards behind the boat. An average bait would not make this type of haul because the hook, line, drag, and the current would not work to the bait’s advantage.
After watching a giant 100 plus pound Charlie Yellowfin tuna fish breach the ocean’s surface about 150 yards behind the stern, I put the glasses down and ventured to my tackle box. No fisherman had caught anything bigger than a #35 lb. tuna and nobody was hooked up at this moment. The kite bait had not been productive up to this point.
I pondered the techniques to get a bait out one hundred fifty yards. The wind was howling from bow to stern and the current was ripping from stern to bow. A little bait would never make it to the zone against the current, so, from the depths of my tackle-box I commissioned a small white party balloon to come to my aid.
I tied the balloon onto my main line at the connection between the main line and the floral carbon leader. This left about twenty inches to the hook.
While at the ship’s bait tank in the cockpit of the stern, I patiently waited to find a fast-moving Olympic class swimmer. I had associated and became friends with some world class swimmers while attending college that continues to this day. I bring this class of swimmer up because first and foremost I respect their skill level, determination, and heart. Most pointedly, it was going to take this type of world class type of character, skill, and toughness to merely stay alive in an ocean like the one illustrated…it is survival of the fittest, to use Darwinian terminology.
After identifying the “chosen one,” I pinned this tough speedster with my Gamakatsu tuna hook right behind the top dorsal fin, let the boat swing on the anchor then lofted a cast that cleared all fisherman and corners. While others followed their baits as they were screaming up to the bow and beyond, my balloon offering was slowly chugging against the current and arrived at “the zone” about fifteen minutes after it hit the water. Nonetheless, the wind can be one’s friend if you know what I mean…
Now barely visible from my vantage point, the balloon was exactly in position when I saw that behemoth fly out of the water fifteen minutes earlier through the binoculars. Although there was quite a bit of line out, I could still feel the little Olympian sardine bait kicking around, still trying like hell to set a world record or set itself free. At one point that little bait got really excited, as if it knew it was in a photo finish race. When that happens, instincts take over and the adrenaline could be felt for minutes. Or, at a minimum it could be felt until the real fight was well under way!
I felt the infamous and glorious tap…tap on the end of the line, counted to three as line was peeling off the reel at lightning speed, then pointed the rod tip towards the water and set the drag to full strike position.
‘Bi…BIG FISH ON’ was gloriously hollered from the deckhand standing up on the bait tank!!
A few minutes after the initial strike and line began to slowly stop singing off the reel, I knew I was in the battle of a lifetime. Around the made-for-big-fish vessel I would go, like playing Ring around the Rosie several times as I gained and lost line in the two-step dance. Some say minutes turn into days in a boxing ring. This too can be said for standup fishing, especially fish that outweigh the line class by two-fold. After a fifty minute battle using 60 pound test monofilament, the gaffs were inserted and this warrior landed on the deck. It was by far the toughest and largest fish I had ever caught in all my fishing adventures.
It weighed in at 124 pounds and measured 58 inches nose to outside edge of the tail.
While this giant was being attended to by the deckhands to preserve it for the dinner table, I sat on the deck next to it, completely exhausted from the battle, with my arm around it. Like in classic prize fights, the competitors, win or lose, hug after the match. In this case, I was so grateful-yet at the same time, I still had my Grandma on my mind.
This fish certainly had her temperament, toughness worth noting, and similar measurements. At approximately 124 pounds soaking wet and exactly 58 inches in length, Grandma and the tuna warrior were eerily the same size…
In any regard, that Wednesday evening during this week at sea I had a dream that awoke me in my stateroom bunk. The dream involved a very dear friend who happened to come onto the boat and wake me up in the middle of the night. I was shocked in the dream to see him; asking how he was able to find me out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As dreams go, he was telling me that there would be a celebration this coming Friday taking place at my Parent’s home and he thought I should attend.
I awoke from the dream only to find my buddy was not there. I strongly contend that he was as real in that dream as imaginable. I told The King of Long Rangers, my truly great friend who shared the stateroom with me about the dream. We both thought the timing was strange considering this mate knew of my Grandma’s condition.
Fast forward: Upon arrival back at Fisherman’s Landing the following Sunday morning I phoned home as the boat entered the calmness of the dawn in the harbor. My wife at the time answered the phone. She
asked how the trip went; yet, I was more concerned with Grandma’s condition.
“Your Grandmother passed away last Wednesday about 12:30 in the afternoon and the funeral was Friday. Everyone went back to your parent’s home. They all missed you…”
I was speechless and couldn’t utter a word. Tears started flowing down my face as I sobbed behind dark shades on the bow of this amazing fishing vessel. After hanging up the phone, my acquired sea-legs felt useless. I found a seat on the dry part of the floorboard and sat there for a few minutes, piecing the timing together. Grandma passed at the exact time I went into battle, 12:30 pm, Wednesday afternoon.
As miracles would overwhelm, this fish was a gift from Grandma. I have no idea how she and You Lord managed to do what You did; nevertheless, I would not put it past either one of You to use this event to display Your kindness to me. From the heart, both of you will never be underappreciated! So amazing…so improbably amazing!! I’m getting tears just thinking about it. So grateful!! So thankful!!
You both are tremendous heroes and I love you for what you represent. With both of you in my corner, I feel incredibly blessed. Some say they would rather be lucky than good. I say I’d rather be blessed and have “luck” arrive by way of miracles. What do You think?
Some final thoughts on this little miracle: I named the fish EC after my grandmother’s initials. It was large enough to earn the jackpot money for the trip, so after handsomely tipping the crew and skipper I took my earnings and used them to make a recreation of the fish from a mold (hanging in my shop now). I also purchased a fishing jacket with Grandma’s initials, her weight, and the day of battle…Grandma’s passing, embroidered on it. I’ll forever be remembering and be grateful! I love you Grandma!!
In this light, I wrote the eulogy upon returning home and then read it aloud while visiting Grandma at her final resting place. Spiritually, we had a great moment, just as we had shared many great moments during our shared journey.
Miracles are where you find them! They are all around us and happen daily. One simply needs to be open to recognizing them. It is a mindset that can easily be tapped.
Note: Is it still coincidence that the magic number 7 is the gift that keeps on giving? Like I said earlier; It’s my favorite number regardless of what the experts say.
124 = (1+2+4) = 7
I could go on for many more hours, filling Your thoughts and eyes with amazing and miraculous tales; however, I’ll need to save a few stories for Part II, if the opportunity arises. I’m hopeful I’ve inspired the reader to share some of their miracle stories; because, don’t we all need a little inspiration at times? I look forward to reading them all!
Simply, we all need to BELIEVE! If we can focus on the want rather than the need You will make our dreams real!!
“Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23)
From The Author
This site accommodated a dream, a writers dream that is. One to share thoughts, ideas, awareness, and solutions through creative, entertaining, and perhaps enlightening ways. I blog, you reply. Pretty simple and pretty cool. I'm not sure who will enjoy this more, you the reader or me the entertainer? In any regard, I look forward to sharing some of the journey...