On the death of our Goldfish and God’s love

So today we woke up to find “The Captain” our beloved goldfish of 4 years dead. And honestly it hurts.

We got The Captain when Meghan were dating, we used to joke that he was our trial pet and if we could keep him alive then we could think about getting a puppy.

I still remember when we went to the pet store. Meghan let me pick which fish we were going to buy, and I honestly picked him because he was the most different-looking fish in the tank (Meghan said he looked ugly, hehe). He had this big black spot around his eye and I just thought the looked cool. We bought him a little pirate ship for the tank and we called him The Captain so that the ship could be “The Morgan” (very creative, I know). And even now as I’m writing this I feel sad. I mourn the loss of this little fish that I could never play with, that never acknowledged my existence except when I was going to feed him and yet….

I’m sad.

Because I cared for this fish. You could even say that at some level, I loved this fish.

And the people that have pets can identify, if your dog or your cat dies you feel it, you mourn it. But a goldfish? Yeah, apparently a goldfish too.

And as I’ve been thinking of the fact that the death of my goldfish affected me I have been thinking about the words of Jesus in the Sermon On the Mount:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? -Matthew 6:25–30

I find it interesting that when Jesus is trying to teach his disciples about how much God cares for us he uses animals as an example. He says “look at how God cares about the birds!” Why wouldn’t He care about you?

A few weeks ago there was this big uproar about the gorilla that was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo because a boy had gotten into the Gorilla’s enclosure. And for the next couple of days all of social media feeds were about discussing whether it was good or not that the gorilla had been shot. And I remember reading from some Christian blogger on twitter that he would kill 1,000 gorillas to save one human life. And the point he was making was that human life is more valuable than animal life, and I agree with that. But that is such a sick and horrible thing to say. How about we don’t kill the gorillas or the people? Because I think this blogger was missing Jesus’ point…

All of life is valuable to God

The gorilla’s, the boy’s, your pet’s….

And our goldfish’s

Maybe not in the same way, I get that. I believe humans are different that animals, but Jesus’ point is

God CARES about the birds in the sky and the flowers in the field.

And then He uses that as a jumping point to talk about how much MORE God cares for us.

And as I’m pondering all this I had this other thought..

If I care for this goldfish that has never shown me any love, that really didn’t do anything for me, and it pains me to see him die.

How much more does God love me? And the people of the world in general?

And how much more does it pain God to see the loss of life, both physical and spiritual…

I think God grieved when the Orlando shooting happened.

I think that if we were to ask God how He felt about that He would say that it wasn’t supposed to go down like that. That His design was for all of humanity to know Him and love Him. That the destruction and pain that sins brings pains Him so much He sent His own Son on a rescue mission…

So that one day stuff like that wouldn’t happen again. Like that line in Hark the Herald Angels Sing:

“Born that men no more may die”

I think that God grieves at the pain that people far from Him experience because of sin and spiritual death.

I think that God grieves the death of my goldfish honestly. I think God grieves death in general. I am convinced that this wasn’t the plan.

Because God cares for all of His creation…

If there is one good thing that came out of the death The Captain is that today I was reminded yet again that God loves me. Because if I, being “evil” as Jesus says to His disciples in Matthew 7, care so much about my goldfish, how much more does my Father in Heaven care for me.

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