Thursday, May 01, 2008

Man Asks for Fish, Gets Snake Instead

Gerald Calvin, Staff Writer

Jeremy Lamont went fishing and nearly lost his faith in God. It was not that the Big One got away. In fact, he never even got his line into the water. Instead, Lamont ended up in the emergency room at a local hospital, his right arm looking like a giant sausage.

On a warm Saturday afternoon, Lamont decided to take a break from preparing his adult Bible study lesson by going fishing. The text for the lesson had been Luke 11:9, “Ask, and it will be given you.”

“I figured,” said Lamont, “that I would put the scripture into practice.”

He had seen a fat trout beneath an overhang along the river, and for weeks had been trying to catch it. “I tried everything: worms, grasshoppers, lures, even flies. Nothing worked. Then, as I was approaching the river, I remembered a few more verses, particularly, ‘Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish?’

“It seemed like the perfect situation,” continued Lamont. “The Bible spoke about asking for a fish, and here I was, fishing. I prayed, over and over, ‘God, let me catch that fish.’”

At that very moment, Lamont stumbled. As he fell, he tried to protect his valuable fishing rod from damage, and stuck out a hand to catch his balance against a rock. His hand instead slipped between two rocks, where a rattlesnake, hiding in the crevasse, bit Lamont.

“Fortunately, I wasn’t that far from the car, but it hurt like Hades all the way to the hospital. It felt like my hand was in a lake of fire,” he said.

Despite suffering intense pain and severe swelling in his hand and arm, Lamont’s doctors expect him to recover fully. In the meantime, Lamont has given over his Sunday School duties to his assistant for the next several weeks, and he is not sure whether he will ever return.

“My faith has been shaken somewhat. I asked for a fish and got bit by a rattler. Either God has a sense or humor, or He doesn’t exist.”

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