Reading Annie Dillard teaches you to be observant. In her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, she stalks the wildlife in Virginia’s Roanoke Valley.

As she stalks and observes the creek, she can’t help but talk about the fish.

She says she is “coming around to fish as spirit.”

The Greek acronym for some of the names of Christ yields ichthys, Christ as fish and fish as Christ. The more I glimpse the fish in Tinker Creek, the more satisfying the coincidence becomes, the richer the symbol, not only for Christ but for the spirit as well. The people must live. Imagine for a Mediterranean people how mcuh easier it is to haul up free, fed fish in nets than to pasture hungry herds on those bony hills and feed them through a winter. To state that holiness is a fish is a statement of the abundance of grace; it is the equivalent of affirming in a purely materialistic culture tht money does grow on trees. ‘Not as the world gives do I give to you’; these fish are sprit food. And revelation is a study in stalking: ‘Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.

Annie dillard, pilgrim at tinker creek

The people must live. “If you had known the gift of God and who it is who said to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,'” Jesus says, “you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 NET)

That part, I’ve always understood. Jesus as living water. It’t not a huge leap in my human thinking. After all everything on earth is made up of water and a few other ingredients.

That holiness is a fish and a fish is a statement of abundant grace utterly surprises me. It’s the beautiful metaphor that describes the banality of everyday life and juxtaposes them in the reality that those gifts, those common things, carry the imprint of God’s abunant provision.

Dillard’s exquisite ability to pen revelations like this make for such a great read.

I hope you’ll put her on your reading list. But be forewarned, there’s also enough of that beautifully horrific that it’s not a good bedtime read. ❤