SAN FRANCISCO — There was a sea of activity — eyes darting here and there, faces seeking.
Each was intent on their personal path.
I stood in awe as I watched sharks, rays and sturgeon move silently around and above us. The San Francisco Aquarium at the Bay offered a breathtaking stroll through the center of a saltwater wonderland. Only inches of glass separated my husband and me from the thousands of marine animals.
But it’s not the shy octopus or the delicate jelly fish that will be my lasting impression of our adventure into this sea world. Instead, it’s a very different recollection that still makes me smile.
“Oooooh!” the little 4 year-old girl squealed as she skipped to the glass cylinder that stretched from floor to ceiling. “Look at all the fish-ees!” she enthused to her parents as her feet danced with delight and her voice rose in a wave of emotion.
The child’s joy was contagious.
“And do you know,” I grinned broadly as she bounced about, delighting us with her happiness, “what all those little fish are called?”
I’d noted the sign at the base of the pillar describing the school of anchovies that circled continuously.
“Its name,” the little girl sang out joyfully, “is Betty!” as her tiny arms stretched wide to encircle the glass tube.
I paused at her immediate love for these look alike silver fish — “Betty” to her, anchovies to me. What I saw was monotony in motion where she saw a living being — one she knew by name.
Later, as we walked the crowded streets of San Francisco, I again noticed the corners where a sea of ragged men and women gathered. Day after day they circled together, eyes darting here and there, faces seeking.
Before my experience at the aquarium, their monotonous lives seemed to be tragedy in motion. I called them “homeless,” but I believe God opens His arms wide with love and calls each one by name.