My daughter got a really cool book for Christmas about ocean creatures. It’s a photicular book created by Dan Kainen and written by Carol Kaufmann called Ocean. The pictures make the animals look like they’re moving when you move the page up and down. There are facts about each animal. One animal that caught my eye was the anglerfish. They live in the depths of the ocean where it is dark all the time. The females have a fishing pole like feature on their head with a light on the end that attracts other animals. The fish sort of looks like a blob with huge teeth and a light hanging in front of it’s head. For those who have seen Disney’s Nemo it’s the fish Dory and Marlin run into with the light. I think the fish is ugly and scary looking. It would be very intimidating to a little fish in the dark.
It wasn’t the picture of this strange creature that caught my eye but the facts about the male. “Male anglers have no fishing poles,” the book says, “but their story isn’t less interesting. Once a young male, much smaller than any female angler, finds a mate, he latches on with those pointy teeth and doesn’t let go.
In fact, as time goes by, the male physically becomes part of the female. He fuses with her scales and bloodstream, and in the process, loses his eyes and all internal organs – except the testes, which are needed to supply sperm in order to produce little anglers.”
I thought, “That is CRAZY!!! …And disgusting.” My mind kept going back to this strange animal. I was having a hard time understanding why such a wonderful God created such an ugly creature with strange abilities. Suddenly, I saw how the bond between the male and female angler is a representation of our growing in Christ.
This fish lives in the darkest of places. Yet the females shine a little light in their dark world. We too live in a dark world. When the light of Christ is shone in our life it captivates us. We realize we’ve found something different and good. Something that can change our lives. So, like the male fish, we latch on. We come close to Christ, the one who makes our life new and our transformation begins. When we accept the gift of salvation He has freely given to us all, His cleansing blood washes over us. We now have His life giving blood flowing through us. Just as the male angler loses his physical eyes we lose ours in the sense that we don’t see things the way we used to with our physical eyes but our spiritual eyes have been opened. The light of Christ now guides us. We learn to be guided with the Holy Spirit as we read the bible. We begin taking on the attributes of Christ. We lose the desire to live for ourselves like the male angler loses his internal organs. We realize we cannot live apart from God nor do we want to. The only part left of the male angler is the part that gives seed for new little anglers. We are also to spread the seed of the good news of Christ.
When I realized the correlation between this fish and our growth in Christ I was awe struck. Amazed that God spoke to me through this crazy looking fish. Even in the depths of the darkest sea God is there. The bible says that through all of nature we can see God’s eternal power. (Romans 1:20) Even in the ugliest of creatures the beauty of God’s desire for our transformation unfolds. He so desires for us to be transformed by the power of His word. I now look at the anglerfish with a deeper appreciation. Remembering God revels Himself through all He has created.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. II Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)