Dolphins

A phrase leaped out at me during the Lauds service on Sunday: “Dolphins and all sea creatures, bless the Lord.” It is from “The Canticle of the Three Young Men” (better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who went into the fiery furnace) in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 3.

How do dolphins bless the Lord? I know how they bless me. Their playful dance-like movements make me smile. Their acrobatic high jumps out of the water make me gasp. I was delighted when I saw three swim offshore recently in perfect synchronization. I have no trouble believing that God, the Creator, is blessed by his creatures the dolphins.

What about us?  What can I do to bless the Lord?  I used to think it was being good, doing the right thing, producing the perfect widget or piece of art. (And then, realizing this was impossible, gave up entirely). I have something to learn from dolphins. Like the lilies, I suspect they neither “toil nor spin,” and I doubt if any of them secretly wants to be a unicorn or a hippo. They are creatures of God, content to swim in the ocean, unaware they give joy to bystanders like me, in a boat or offshore. If I can be me, without pretensions, freely living my life as it unrolls before me, I can stand before a loving God, who knows all and sees all, and expect to bless, as I am being blessed.

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