Strange but True
By Lois Parker Edstrom
Objects needed: Pictures of unusual sea life
Along the shore by the sea, one can find beautiful, yet unusual types of marine life. There are sea animals that look like bath sponges, jellyfish that seem transparent and float like clouds in the sea, anemones that look like flowers, and starfish that appear as if they could have dropped from the sky. One can find little clams, not much bigger than a fingernail and another type of clam that can weigh more than twenty pounds.
One of the most unusual marine animals is the sea urchin. It is of a size that would fit in your hand, is round and covered with short, stiff spines which are sharp. A sea urchin can be red, green or purple. The mouth of a sea urchin is formed by five sharp-toothed jaws. Its appearance is so strange that you might hesitate to touch it. If, however, you could look inside the body of a sea urchin, you would find that the shell has a smooth, pink lining with an intricate arched design that looks like the dome of a cathedral.
The reason we are talking about unusual things is that there is an unusual story in the Bible. It is the story of a man who was very ill. People described him as is he were crazy or had lost his mind. He did not live in a house and at times would run into the woods as if he were chased by demons.
Jesus came to the town where the man lived and saw that he was very ill. Jesus commanded that the unclean spirit come out of him and he was healed. The people of the town who had seen all this happen were frightened. They had never seen the power of Jesus’ healing until then and they did not understand. But Jesus understood that this man that they called crazy was really a child of God. And Jesus was able to heal him.
When we see or experience something we don’t understand, we may feel frightened. The sea urchin and other types of sea life may seem unusual and some may seem threatening. We hesitate to touch them. It is right to be cautious. If you come in contact with something that is unusual or something you don’t understand, the best thing to do is talk with your parents. They will help you decide what is safe and what is dangerous. Remember that in the case of the sea urchin, what looked sharp and hurtful on the outside covered a beautiful design on the inside.
The important thing to remember about the unusual Bible story is that the man who was ill was restored to health and he was very grateful. Jesus told him to go and tell others “…what great things God has done for you” (8:39).
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2011, Richard Niell Donovan