“There’s one!” came the voice of the captain over the intercom. “Off the port side!”
Cheering, we all scrambled to the left side of the boat just in time to see the giant’s back—his very, very long back—shining in the sun before disappearing into the depths again.
It was a California gray whale migrating south for the winter.
We had migrated, too, sort of. Instead of coming south like the whale, we had come west, also in search of a warmer climate in San Diego, at least during our vacation.
The captain began to turn the boat so we could follow the whale. Everyone stood ready with their cameras trained wherever they thought he might reappear.
I’d seen many photos and videos of whales so I could picture what he looked like beneath the surface. To think that a creature that huge could be swimming that close to our little boat astounded me.
And if I hadn’t already been a little seasick, that realization would have made me queasy for sure.
When the whale swam close to the surface, we could only see his back, but when he decided to dive deep, his tail fin would kick up out of the water.
I stood in awe as we watched a giant gray whale gliding effortlessly through a vast ocean filled with other extraordinary creatures, under a bright blue-and-white sky that stretched beyond the horizon.
Every time the whale submerged, the captain told us, he left a ‘footprint’ on the water. We would search the area where the whale had been, and after a minute or two, I usually saw the print—a smooth, circular area in the water made by the movement of the whale’s tail. Evidence that he had been there.
It strikes me that we can look for God the same way. We can’t physically see him, but in the beauty around us, we can see evidence of his footprint everywhere. Glimpses of him. And often we don't have to look very hard to find it.
Do you think beauty is or can be a glimpse of something or someone greater? Why or why not? I'd love to know. Please leave a comment.