Dear Johan,

That’s not your real name. i’m pretty sure it isn’t. Your comments don’t strike me as the kind that would come from someone who uses their real name. And the email address is definitely not real.

You logged into your computer and you clicked on a link that took you to my blog post and you scrolled down to the comments and with some amount of glee i imagine, you shared a word you had made up with me.

A coostard, you said it was. Actually, a little more than that, it was a word you had made up for me.

What did you say? “That is a cunt combined with a doos and a libtard.”

So you sat down, and you logged in, and you searched for my page, all so that you could deliver those hate-filled words to me.

Oh, and i almost forgot… and you were created in the image of God.

Are. You are created in the image of God.

You seem to be doing your best – in this moment, anyway – to hide the fact [and it is a fact -you not believing it doesn’t make it any less true] because God would never write something like that to me.

God is Love, you see. God embodies Love. God resonates Love. God emanates Love. God… is Love. 

Not small-l Hollywood type love, by the way. That is so incredibly tiny and generally lacking much vision. Usually coming from a place of selfishness and often purely associated with sex or conquest or feelings.

No, God’s Capital-L Love is far, far greater than that.

It is all-encompassing. It is creative. It is sacrificial. It is humble. It holds within it the Shalom peace-of-state-of-mind-and-being.

It forgives and calls me to do the same. [“Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!”]

It calls me, no commands me to Love my enemies. To pray for those who persecute me. To serve on another in Love.

So, Johan [or insert your real name in here]. i forgive you. Because i don’t think you know what you do.

Not really. You cannot know that you were created in the image of God. 

That you are created in God’s image. It’s impossible that you know that.

For you would never in a million years act in this way if you did. 

If you woke up in the morning, and realised and remembered that you were created in the image of the God who spoke the Universe into being in a moment [or set it up to evolve over millions of years, either way], in the image of Jesus who lived and walked on earth and embodied the Love of God so completely, then you would not be able to find it in yourself to sit down and log into your computer and find your way to my page and write such potentially hurtful words. It just wouldn’t be in you.

i say ‘potentially hurt’ because the same is true of me.

Your words cannot hurt me. Not when i am aware that i was created in the image of God. As i am.

This doesn’t mean your words don’t sting a little bit. That the idea someone would take all that effort just to try and hurt me doesn’t affect me in any way. That there are some days when the words hurt a little more than others. Because they do. i am human after all and i do have feelings.

But not in any kind of significant way. Because i am made in the image of God. And more importantly i am deeply Loved by God. Capital-L Loved Johan. How could anything you have to say possibly knock me down from that?

You can keep your little invented word, though. i don’t have too much time for that. i already have a name and it’s also made up of three words. Faithful, Serving and Him. That’s why i am called Fish [Faithful In Serving Him] not because of anywhere that i have arrived, but because of a very intentional direction that i am heading in.

The Him is Jesus.

And i will continue to do my best to live out the words and actions and call of Jesus, because a world as messed up and messy as ours needs more people who are committed to Love and to serving others. 

i do wish you all the best, Johan, and i hope that one day you won’t be too scared to share your real name and identity with me. What a terrible life it must be to be hiding behind a mask all the time, hoping that no-one finds out your true identity and pieces together that it was you saying all these things.

But more than that, i really really really hope that one day, and sooner rather than later, you will discover the Truth of the fact that you are created in the image of God. You are created to Love. You are Loved.

Because who knows what you might decide to put your time towards the moment you discover that life-transforming Truth. That you don’t have to pretend any more. That for the first time, you can truly live.

i wish all of that on you, and more.


Love, Brett Fish