Would you step outside your box for a minute and join me outside mine? I need to tell you a story this morning that requires us to think just a little outside reality.
A young couple took a Caribbean cruise. They had a three-month-old baby boy with them. One afternoon the young father stood at the railing of the cruise ship and spotted two dolphins swimming parallel to the ship. He called his wife over.
She was carrying their precious baby in her arms. (Here's our exit from reality). The wife dolphin swimming alongside the ship looked up and saw the baby human. Unable to have a calf of her own, her maternal issues caused her to weep salty tears.
Husband dolphin asked her what was wrong and she pointed her flipper toward the little boy. He tried to console her, but her grief was too heavy.
Later that night, husband dolphin sat at his favorite tavern and unloaded his dilemma on a few fish at the bar. Together they devised a plan to kidnap the baby human and adopt him as their own.
All went as planned and husband dolphin proudly presented his wife with her very own bundle of joy. Incredibly, the baby boy's lungs adapted and he was able to survive in his new underwater home.
The transition was challenging for little Carnival, but wife dolphin was so thrilled in her new role as mommy dolphin. She patiently helped Carnival develop his taste buds for fish and squid. The little guy seemed to take to shrimp without much difficulty. She taught him how to swim and how to squeak in dolphin language.
All was well in the underwater world...or so it seemed. Carnival never expressed his feelings, but deep inside he knew something was different about him. The other calves his age had noticeably different teeth. His own teeth were large and few in number. They came in one or two at a time and it took forever. His fins were not shaped like the other calves, either. In fact, his fins didn't resemble those of anyone -- including his mom or dad.
It was more than that. Carnival always felt this urge to go up. And when he would jump out of the water, something inside him longed to stay above the water. But his parents were very strict about his jumping. If there were any large objects floating on top of the water, Carnival was forbidden to jump.
The other calves got to do it, but not Carnival. He loved hearing his friends tell of what they saw when the large floating objects came by. But he never told his parents about this obsession of his. They wouldn't understand.
Occasionally, Carnival would find things on the ocean floor that he found very tasty. But these things were not ocean things. They must've fallen from the large floating objects. His favorite food was a little round green thing, shaped like perfectly rounded rocks. They were so tasty and juicy. Most of the time, it looked like something had already eaten it and nothing was left but the core. But occasionally he would find a whole one and devour it.
One day, while a large floating object was passing by and Carnival's buddies were swimming beside it and jumping, Carnival followed from a safe distance and depth. He didn't want to disobey his parents, but he felt drawn to this strange event.
As Carnival trailed behind the large object, something plopped into the water from above and tumbled down right in front of him. It was flat, thin, and colorful. Strange squiggly lines were marked all over it. And there was something else. Something he'd never seen before.
Moments before, the young human mother who'd lost her baby at this exact location two years earlier stood beside the railing of the ship with tears in her eyes. She held a picture that had been taken on the ship the day her son disappeared. It was a family picture. Though she held the picture tightly, a gust of wind blew it from her hands and it fell into the ocean.
Carnival saw the picture and thousands of questions were answered in a glance. He wasn't a dolphin calf! He was a baby human! He didn't belong here! He belonged up there! He realized what he had always sensed and felt deep inside. This was not his home nor his world.
He snatched the picture with his fins...no wait, with his hands! He swam as fast as he could to catch up to the large floating object. When he reached it, he jumped as high as he could...
He saw her. She saw him. He swam with his head above water until the large floating object stopped and a tiny floating object was lowered. When the tiny floating object touched the water, Carnival looked up into the face of his father, and his father lifted him up and held him in his arms.
"He has put eternity in their hearts" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Like a Fish out of Water...Knowing Heaven is my Home,