He hopes he never forgets.
When he first smelt the fire and wood smoke it almost made him retch. Certainly his stomach flipped and he tasted bile in his mouth.
Fear is powerful.
But as the breakfast went on, and Jesus broke the bread and fish, smiling as he did it, the memories crashed into one another. Light shunting the darkness out of the way. The remembrance of fear and failure from that night in the High Priest’s courtyard displaced by another recollection. Bread and fish on a hillside. Jesus welcoming thousands with another smile and miraculous food. The kingdom where anyone was welcome. The open door. Even to frauds and failures.
Now, as he walks along that beach he hopes he will never forget that courtyard night. The smell of fire and wood smoke. The tang of fear and failure. The crouching tears of regret in doom’s dark shadows. And now the rising hope of forgiveness. A surge of energy as reality sinks in. A new start. He never wants to be the same. When he meets others who are conflicted, others who have known fear and failure, he wants to treat them differently. When he smells wood smoke may it always remind him. He failed and he was forgiven. He can walk on now, leaving fresh prints in this sand, because the one walking beside him has treated him differently. Not judging, but saving him. Rescuing him from the depths of darkness. Gold dust. To fail and fall and be forgiven. An incredible thing. Almost beyond belief. To be a fraud and find a new start. May he never forget. May his eyes be different eyes now, when they fall on the failure of others.
Based on John chapter 21