Elaine Wheat is a faith columnist for the Victoria Advocate.

"Create in me a clean heart, oh God" (Psalm 51:10).

On one cold day, I chose to use my waders. I did this for two reasons — it was cold, and I wanted to prove that I had some waders just like the other fishermen with me. I loaded the little bibbed pocket with extra stuff, after dropping it all once, and started to load me into them. I then noticed one treble hook that had fallen out and was hanging from my wader leg.

Boy, I was glad that I found that hook before it found me. It could have ruined my whole purpose of looking pretty and professional. I secretly reached down and pulled it out. It only left one tiny hole that no one would notice. I stole over to the car and got a Band-Aid out of my first aid kit and patched the little hole from the inside in order to hide my holy waders.

I stepped into the cold water that I couldn't even feel because of my beautiful waders and began the "Fisherman's Shuffle" out to the hidden reef that I couldn't reach from the bank. I watched bank fishermen casting their guts out trying to reach near where I stood warmly stringing my first trout.

"I'm good. I'm good. Oh, I am so good," was the mantra I was praising myself with as I proudly pranced around out there in my wonderful waders.

When I got my next keeper and I started to tip my fish hat to the bank buddies just to make them envious, I noticed a slight chill in my feet that was slowly creeping up my legs. Nothing big, of course, but then my legs began to tremble and feel weak. This feeling slowly crept up to the largest part of me, which is certainly not my brain, and I finally had to admit that I had sprung a leak, and the frigid water was filling my wonder waders.

I was determined to stay out there until the beach spectators left, but I just couldn't do it. I splish-splashed my way in and laid down on the warm sand while a humble fishing friend pulled the waders off while only laughing a little. All I could say was, "It was just a tiny, little hole."

Dear Lord, I know that sometimes I have a little tiny hole in my soul that lets your goodness leak out and my hurts, habits and hates leak in, and I become cold and weak. Sometimes we have to pay a price for our pride and vanity. Create in me a clean heart, oh God.

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