He thought it would be like standing on a cliff edge, looking down, his knees knocking out a frantic drumbeat and his face white with chalky horror at the thought of the sickening leap into nothing. Thought it would require every ounce of his strength and courage, his fists balled like undo-able knots in a hangman’s rope. He’s heard a lot about this man, and misunderstood most of it. Expected a harsh critic, a loudmouth with a finger forever jabbing at anyone in his sight line. But no. No frothing, foaming, spitting mouth, no spewing of judgement, no relishing of put-downs for those folks who clearly are not up to the mark. Folks like himself. Instead, a disarming smile, a gaze that shows nothing but interest in him, a voice gentle enough that he has to lean in to catch the two-words of invitation. ‘Follow me.’ No cliff-edge then, no snarled threats, no fingers grabbing for his collar. Just the call to take a step. And to try. To make a few mistakes and do some growing. Before he knows what is happening he’s shutting up his money-box, easing himself out of the toll booth, leaving the line of gaping, crater-mouthed customers. It’s happening. He’s taking that step of faith, and it doesn’t feel like falling. Right now it’s like the best feeling in the world. Freedom. Chains shattering. So real that he half expects to hear the sound of clattering irons. But no. Just the noise of his footsteps falling in time with the carpenter from Nazareth. Up and off. A new start.
Luke 5 v 27-32