The story of the Coelacanth is one of joy.
Okay. Maybe not birth-of-your-first-child kind of joy, but it’s certainly one that makes me smile and gives me a bit of hope.
only knew about these little guys from their class pictures in fossil yearbook. They were a pretty fruitful crew about 300 million years ago. But fast forward 235 million years, and their portraits in the rock disappear.
The dinosaurs died out, so perhaps these little lynchpins did too?
A day in 1938, a captain of a fishing boat pulls in a haul off the coast of South Africa. In among the sharks he’s snagged is a stranger dressed in blue. So, he rings the local marine biologist. She’s always looking for odd specimens for her museum.
Could it be?
She makes some calls. The scientific community jumps to attention.
How exciting! How amazing! A shadow come to life!
(Cue Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” here.)
Beyond the implications to scientific research, this discovery (or rediscovery?) of the Coelacanth is a humbling, hopeful reminder. Man can only look so far, dig so deep. Our eyes and ears and bodies and minds are limited. We can think we know something, but really, all we can do is believe. Believe and trust.
Which means we can always be surprised!
And just because we can’t see something, hear or touch it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It—whatever “it” might be for you—might be out there, living, swimming the waters of wonder and miracle. Keep hope! Keep looking!
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