We tend to think of whales as unexciting amorphous beings that more or less exist to float and eat. Their reputations as monsters seem to stem solely from their overwhelming size. However whales could be compared to raptors of the air but their domain is the sea. They drift and circle the oceans along the very upper edge of their world, diving down to feed on prey. Among the mightiest creatures on earth, they feed on the smallest and in the millions a bite. For those tiny creatures surely monster does not even begin cover their sentiment but for the human observer even this seems somehow gentle.
So the story goes there once was a whale all too aware of his mighty stature, his mysterious imposing shape, his awesome appetite and his majestic uniqueness. But that awareness did not come from his heart. Because his heart was missing from the picture he did not know himself as God knew him. He knew himself as a creature others feared, others laughed at, separate from the world around him because he felt so different. There were so many things about himself he would change if he could but the whale didn’t understand he was what he was for a reason.
Like all of the other whales he would regularly breach the surface just enough to catch a breath and then smoothly slip back under the water. One day, in a sudden burst of energy, he leapt for his breath and his whole head breached the surface before splashing back to the sea. What a surprisingly pleasant moment that was. He didn’t crash into the sky. He did not get hurt on his return to the ocean. He felt the wind and he wanted more.
Feeling excited about his accomplishment he planned his next leap. This time he would throw himself into the air until only the tip of his tail held him to the ocean. He was magnificent. He could feel the wind on his belly and this time he also felt the sea on his back as he crashed back down to his home. To feel the wind again and the sea he lived in for the first time must be what they call joy! How easy was that? To feel the best he had ever felt in his life just by taking these leaps.
Eventually it was time for the whale to fully release his joy and throw his whole body into the air, letting go of the sea down to his tail, and trust the sea will open up for his return. But fear started to creep back into his heart. What if once he left the sea so completely it would not take him back? Before the questions could overtake his heart he thought about how he dove for the shrimp that filled his belly and that would be his plan. He would dive into the air as if to eat the wind. If he could not return to his home in the sea he would spend the rest of his days as part of the air, the wind would fill his belly and the joy would fill his heart.
Now with his heart full he could see that he was the sea and the air and all the magnificent creatures that filled them and he could see himself as God sees him, as part of the glory that is all of creation.
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