Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Boy's Goldfish

I was working at my computer when I heard a forlorn, “Mom?” I turned and there on a tray near my left shoulder lay a very slimy, very dead exotic goldfish.

I looked at the orange fish and then up into the sad blue eyes of my eleven-year-old boy. I spoke the obvious. “Oh, sweetie, Sparky’s dead.”

“Can you take some pictures of him?” I gulped, then nodded resolutely and grabbed for my camera. (Aren’t you glad I refrained from posting those pictures???)

The goldfish had been the lone survivor in a whole company of tetra fish my son had purchased last year. (Just between you and me, I don’t think fish flakes were the only thing Sparky had been nibbling on.)

So we took a few pictures (not too many poses a dead fish can assume), erected a cross, and Tristan’s dream of being a fish owner died.

Hope lost.

How many dreams of ours have died? How many hopes shattered?

A job lost. A marriage crumbles for the first, second or even third time. A child dies. A spouse leaves. Health fails.

And life fades from brilliant color to shades of gray. Our spirit exists in a perpetual state of blah.

Hope restored.

Is that even possible? How? O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130:7.

Is the path easy? No. But is it worth it? Yes.

It’ll take time. Lots of time. And work. Lots of work. It’ll take gradual changes to thought processes and choices made.

Maybe when that friend invites you to coffee you’ll take her up on it. It may not create an earthshattering transformation in you. But it could be the beginning of one.

Connection with God and others—relatively healthy others. Others who care and want your best. Others who can pray for you when you can’t pray for yourself.

It’s where healing begins.

Author's note: An excellent resource to help you walk that path toward healing is Changes That Healby Dr. Henry Cloud.

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