Tuesday, June 23, 2020

On The Air That We Breathe And The Water That We Filter

It's a decision every dad must make. Do I write a blog post on my children's fish?

Should I really compare us—you and I—to nine-dollar Danios? Am I, too, going to see something in an aquarium about the fragility of life?

It's a decision often made too lightly, including this time.

But! What if I told you this post isn't about the choice to get out from behind the plastic plant and explore your world? What if this post is about a prayer—not the prayer of a father, but of a mother? Now, you're reading [likely, something, somewhere, if not this].

I was taken aback by Sarah's prayer Saturday when she first saw these fish in the plastic bag from the pet store. With no forethought or pretense, she pleaded for their perseverance. She petitioned the Ruler of the universe to fix their gills aright for this water we have filtered and heated for their home. She prayed so earnestly that I cannot think it was for the life of the fish, but for the feelings of our daughters. But, it was for the life of the fish—two sides of the same coin.

What struck me the sharpest was her confession, You made these creatures. Now I'm tempted to ruminate more deeply than the outset of this post should allow.

They are genetically engineered to make their color more eye-catching, but You made these creatures.

They were taken from their previous tank, seemingly at random. We just as easily could've gotten any other two from the twenty, but You made these creatures.

We moved their new home out from under the air conditioning vent. We bought different water conditioner and we're following the instructions more closely this time. We hope for the best, but You made these creatures.

I think about the refrain, "the Lord giveth"—from Job—repeated so mechanically in As I Lay Dying that it loses the spirit of Psalm 100.

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (v. 3)

It goes for now, and for virus time, and for all times other. Whatever we think we own, and whatever rights we like to holdwe are his, same as the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the tank.

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