Amongst zillions of the Lord’s astonishing creations is the coral. I grew up seeing amazing specimens of coral every day. My dad had owned property on Cape Canaveral and had a wonderful seashell collection, including beautiful bleached coral, one big enough to sit on, the other like a solid hard skull. I was intrigued by them and tried to imagine the wild shore Dad described to us.
My dad told us that the coral is built by thousands of tiny creatures working together to build a community. But only recently I began to learn a little more about those miniscule workers. Basically, they are called polyps. They are cylindrical in shape. They have tentacles at their mouth end which seek the algae and ocean junk food they live on. The microscopic algae provide what’s called symbiodinium which the coral needs to form hard skeletons around themselves. They also need calcium carbonate for building their small and sometimes massive condominiums. Those skeletons become beautiful colorful sights. They build into reefs which do their part to protect the ocean’s shorelines as well as making a home and playground for thousands of fish, crus-taceans, etc. That’s not to mention the joy their beauty gives to the adventurous scuba divers and snorkelers.
I’m thankful for the one time I was brave enough to snorkel in warm clear water along the shore of a Bahamian island. I’ll never forget the colorful paradise, coral both hard and feathery and so bright, and fish who seemed quite happy for me to be nosing around in their territory. Those coral were not bleached like my dad’s specimens. They were unbelievably beautiful.
The tiny coral does what it’s made to do, wins no plaques or trophies, just does its job. In doing what it’s supposed to it becomes part of a marvelous plan for survival and beauty, an intricate design by the Lord God whose hands continue to create. He uses these tiny creatures to form communities in the sea, condominiums they seem to me, many little windows open to the ocean view.
May we, too, Lord, fulfill the part you planned for us, bit by bit, day by day.