Sky Angel, Sea Angel
Christmas brings angels and babies. Here are two of my local favorites. Sweet painted angels, inspired by old Spanish church frescos, which are hung every year all over Monterey. And then this little baby angel, a little angel shark, first ever bred in captivity, at the Aquarium of the Bay in SF. Sky angel, sea angel.
“Angel” simply means “messenger.” Billy Graham, of all people, has a good book on angels called “God’s Secret Agents.” Angels bring messages, annunciations, glad tidings. Unto you is born this day. I guess angels look scary at first, because they are always saying “Be not afraid!”
Sharks too look scary at first, but that’s all Hollywood – they are actually pretty wimpy. While sea otters eat ¼ of their weight every day, sharks only eat ¼ of their weight every month. They may seem deadly, but sharks kill maybe 8 people a year worldwide. We humans kill 100 million sharks a year. Talk about slaughter of the innocents.
We have no need to be afraid of either angels nor sharks. Actually we desperately need them both. Good for the ecosystem, good for our souls. I, for one, need all the hope I can get this season; angels and babies help a little bit.
The Aquarium of the Bay promotes shark conservation with its captive breeding program and its good education programs about the importance of sharks in every ecosystem. Angel sharks, like all sharks, have been overfished and slaughtered, but at least locally they are now protected. And if you want to help folks get over their misconception that sharks are dangerous – show us cute babies!
I pray you meet some angels this season – on high and in the deep. May you hear their glad tidings and may they give you some hope.
PS – I get lots of free passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium every year as a volunteer. My 2016 ones are about to run out! We have angel sharks here as well. Come see our angels on the streets and in the tanks. Bluetheology.com