Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love theology, but few know that I greatly enjoy bass fishing. For many years I went bass fishing with Charlie. Charlie was a retired chemist. He was extremely intelligent and conversant in many areas of science, theology, philosophy, history, and politics. I loved fishing with Charlie. We would get into his canoe very early in the morning and we would set out on a private lake, whose owners Charlie knew. The fishing was always excellent. We never came ashore without many bass and lots of panfish as big as Herman Munster's hands. Since it was a private lake there were no limits on the number of fish we could catch.
The reason I enjoyed fishing with Charlie is that while we fished we often talked theology. Being an inquisitive scientist, Charlie was not afraid to ask the difficult questions, for which, more often than not, I had no answer, but at least we would talk about it. We would wade into the relationship between theology and science, and science and ethics, and periodically for a change of pace, we would talk some philosophy or history. Even in the evening, back at camp by the light of the fire and a Coleman lantern, we cleaned fish and talked theology.
In all the years I knew Charlie he always called me Doctor Bevere and he would always introduce me as Reverend Doctor Bevere. I would say to him, "Charlie, we're fishing buddies. Call me Allan," but he could not. While I do not believe that titles should automatically engender respect, I knew that for Charlie his respect for me was revealed in how he addressed me... and I had much respect for him. Charlie was a man of deep Christian faith, impeccable character, and I enjoyed his friendship greatly.
A few years ago, because of distance and other factors, I lost contact with Charlie. I found out today that he died in May. I am thankful for Charlie's life and for the gift of his friendship and those many hours in a canoe doing what we both loved and talking about what we both loved.
Anyone who thinks that theology has nothing to do with the daily stuff of life never went fishing with Charlie.
I did... and I thank God for such a blessing!
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