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Spiritual sores: parable of Caspar the beluga whale

A highlight of our weekend visit to the new Atlanta aquarium was the Beluga whale tank. Beluga whales are like giant dolphins with bulbous foreheads. A Mona Lisa smile is fixed permanently on their white faces. One of the four whales has the name “Caspar” – perfect, considering his ghost…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

A highlight of our weekend visit to the new Atlanta aquarium was the Beluga whale tank. Beluga whales are like giant dolphins with bulbous foreheads. A Mona Lisa smile is fixed permanently on their white faces. One of the four whales has the name “Caspar” – perfect, considering his ghostly appearance.

Upon further inspection, one discovers unsightly lesions blotching parts of Caspar’s large body. The guide explained why: “These rashes formed when he lived in his last habitat in Mexico City. The whale’s pool was situated under a roller coaster. We think that the noise caused stress resulting in a bacterial infection that produced these sores. Now that he’s here, he’s getting better.”

Some of us live lives like Caspar. We weren’t made for the stress of modern life. We get jostled and bumped living under life’s roller coasters. And though you can’t see them, we develop spiritual sores as a result. Our environment is literally eating away at our spiritual man.

What are our sores? One is a hard heart – a lack of compassion. People fall by the wayside around us and we discreetly walk around them. Or worse yet, we are the boss described in Isaiah 58:3-4, “You do as you please and exploit all your workers, your fasting ends in quarreling and strife.” A boss like that is someone who has probably been living a life like Caspar’s life. Buffeted by pressures, he is covered by spiritual sores, so irritated by the stress of life that he can’t feel the pain of others.

Another spiritual sore is the ugly callus that can form on our conscience. I’m always a little shocked when I travel to Philly, where on street corners everywhere, the “F-word” is a regular part of the dialogue. Grandmothers and children elsewhere don’t talk that way, but live in a rough and tumble environment like that, and people end up with spiritual sores that manifest themselves even in conversation.

Take some time to consider and pray about the environment in which you live. They may be invisible to the naked eye, but if you can feel the spiritual sores on you, then God wants to help you get whole.

“I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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