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The Fisherman


Setting: Just before dawn, on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. A man is sitting by the fire. Marcus approaches.
Marcus: Hey.
Man: Hello!
Marcus: I’m setting up camp down the beach. I was just looking to start a fire.
Man: This one’s already going. Join me!
Marcus sits.
Marcus: You’re out here pretty early. Are you alone?
Man: I’m waiting for some friends. They’re still on the water.
Marcus: Oh, they’re fishermen? (he nods) I’ve always liked fishing, ever since I was a kid. If things had been different…
Man: Here, have some bread.
Marcus takes it and notices the injuries on his wrists.
Marcus: What happened there? Are you okay?
Man: Oh, yes! It’s fine now.
Suddenly Marcus becomes uncomfortable.
Marcus: Actually, I should probably go and leave you in peace.
Man: Nonsense, sit! (Marcus sits again) I’m sorry if this (indicates his wounds) makes you uncomfortable.
Marcus: It just reminds me of something. (pause) Look, you probably guessed it already but I’m not from here. I’m a soldier actually. I finally got some leave. I decided to come here, you know, to fish.
Man: You thought if you did some fishing like you did when you were a kid, it’d make you feel better. Right?
Marcus: Exactly right! Hope it doesn’t bother you. That I’m a soldier, I mean. (The Man shrugs. They sit in silence for awhile.) A week ago some strange things happened, I’m telling you.
Man: Oh?
Marcus: Very strange. There were some crucifixions. Nothing unusual in that, we do them all the time. But this one was different. It drew a huge crowd. One of the prisoners was accused of treason, or something like that. He was Jewish, like you. …I should stop talking about it.
Man: (poking at the fire) No, it’s alright. So, this one was different?
Marcus: Yeah, well, the guy who all the fuss was about… by the time he got to me he was in pretty bad shape. I mean, he was covered in blood from head to toe. His face was swollen. Nothing really unusual about that either, I guess. (the Man stands to get more wood. Marcus also stands) There were a lot of rumors about him. He wasn’t just another criminal, you know? …What happened to your feet?
Man: Nothing. Go on.
Marcus: I probably should just stop talking. I haven’t slept in days.
Man: It’s okay. I understand.
Marcus: You do? Then maybe you can explain it to me. (pause) You go your whole life and then something happens… It’s like living in a desert and then you take a drink of water for the first time. Turns out you were dying of thirst and didn’t even know it.
Man: (sits) What happened?
Marcus: (hesitates) It’ll sound crazy… When they laid him down on the tree he looked right at me, like he knew me. I’m telling you, that look went straight through me. In his eyes I saw myself for what I really am. It wasn’t pretty. It was the opposite of what I saw in him. I felt it. Everything that’s …good. I don’t know how else to describe it.
Man: Then?
Marcus: Then I nailed his wrists to the tree. I’ve never disobeyed an order in my life! And his ankles. While he was hanging there he cried out some things. The other guys were laughing like drunken idiots. But not me. I kept thinking, This isn’t right. This is a mistake. Later, I was ordered to stab him in the side, and I did, even though he was already gone.
Man: You were just afraid.
Marcus: (sits) That’s not all! All of a sudden it got dark, and the ground started shaking! I thought it was the end of the world. I thought we’d finally done something so evil that the world had to end.
Man: (commenting on the fire) There, that’s better.
Marcus: We drew lots for his cloak. (Marcus instinctively touches the cloak he’s wearing)
Man: Is that it?
Marcus: (slowly) Yes. But you know it is. Don’t you? (Marcus stares at the Man) Your eyes, they’re the same. (the Man returns his stare)
Man: (after a few seconds) “Surely, this man was…”
Marcus: This man was the Son of God! I said that!
Marcus kneels before the Man.
Man: Marcus!
Marcus: Lord! How is this possible?
Man: (stands) Look! That’s their boat now. Come on! Let’s go meet them together.
Marcus: Wait! What do you…? How can you forgive me for what I did?
Man: (kneels to face him) Tell me who you are. Who are you right now?
Marcus: I’m… I feel like the boy who loved to fish. I’m him. I’m just a fisherman.
Man: (smiles) Yeah. Follow me, Marcus. It’s not over yet.

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