This off the BBC website. We are given the helpful caption: "Balloon lumpfish attach themselves to a balloon at an aquarium in Tokyo, Japan."
What is it which is so bizarre about this shot? The primary colours that make up balloon and fish? The alien-like blue eyes of the lumpfish? The sheer slightly disorienting weirdness of seeing things we do not normally see?
One of the funny things about science fiction is how little imagination many of the 'worlds' end up being. They are all just versions of our own (I think Lewis pointed out this in one of his essays). At the end, we cannot really imagine something totally different from us. Come to think of it, even if we did - the strain of understanding would sink most stories - so we are pretty much stuck with this good old world and a few odds and ends tacked on.
Which is as it should be. Though we are loath to think of it - given the sheer number of stars and their associated planetary systems spinning round the cosmos - our world is actually a pretty neat place. It actually has been made pretty close to perfect to keep not only humans, but an eye-poppingly wide spectrum of life afloat. Take a look at those balloon lumpfish again. Then go look in your bathroom mirror. Which one is wierder? Which one has more to marvel at?
The wisdom of the old book tells us that we are 'fearfully and wonderfully made'. We saw that today all too clearly.
We saw fearfullness and wonderfullness in the beauty of meeting old friends of ours for supper - people we had prayed with for years and now are married and doing an amazing work for God. Marriage is itself such a miracle - how two lives can be twined together...
We saw fearfullness and wonderfullness in the woman who was carried into the JSK clinic - slumped over in a chair - her husband also sick and already admitted at one of the government hospitals - and with four children at home. The desperation of this dear woman - with all her brokeness - pointed again to the deep purposes that each life has...
We saw fearfullness and wonderfullness in our children. Who are these two beings who are developing and sprouting in so many ways? What depth do we start to detect in the actions and thoughts of Asha and Enoch? Listening to them pray - are they still repeating what we say or do we see new experiences of God in the next gen?
The list goes on... Thank God for baloon lumpfish. Its good to see something weird every now and then - if nothing else to reawaken wonder at God's grandeur.