and i don't even like going in the ocean

I stood there watching the beluga whales, at once both perplexed by their awkward ugliness and mesmerized by their graceful beauty. And I couldn't help but think of how I'm just the same: at once, so flawed and so forgiven, so unlovable and so loved. Then suddenly that stupid old kids' song flooded my thoughts, interrupting my holy moment. "Baby beluga in the deep blue sea..." Shrug. Oh well. The tiger shark swimming over my head caused me to stop and stare, wide-mouthed. A slow smile spread across my face and without ever looking away, I reached for my phone and started texting a friend who I knew would care as much as I did. I stood there a long while, following with my eyes as more sharks swam up and over me.

I could swear the manta ray was smiling at me---have you ever seen their "face"?! I "awwww"ed over and over again as the otters peeked their heads out of the water and rolled around chasing their tail. I thought the sawfish looked like a cartoon---it just seemed too ridiculous to be real.

The jellyfish, shimmering and intriguing and fluid, made me shake my head in wonder. The ginormous unattractive groupers gave me the heebie jeebies. The whale shark made me feel unbelievably small. The thousands of brightly colored Nemo-and-Dorie-esque fish had me chuckling.

And as I exited the aquarium, all I could think was---

God is so dang creative.