The Girl God Rescued Bonus 10

More fun in the sun and surf with author and scuba diver Sally Streib.

When I look up and see a shark I feel a stab of fear. One morning I decided to snorkel, with my son, at a town four miles away. We climbed down a dock ladder
and got into the water that sloshed quietly against the cliffs.

We swam along, stopping to snoop in some shallow caves that dotted the cliffs, when suddenly a bull shark torpedoed up from the bottom 40 feet below. I
couldn’t do anything except scream “Jesus!” at the top of my lungs through my snorkel. When the bull shark slammed into my stomach hard enough to knock me
over, I knew I would die.

Seconds passed. When I discovered that I was still alive, I opened my eyes. I could see the tail of that shark heading out to the open sea. I guess God
said to that shark, “Not here and not today.”

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

My son and I swam back to the dock, climbed out and drove to town. It took weeks for most of the wound from that shark encounter to fade away.

When something scares you, someone abandons you or you lose someone important to you, it leaves a wound. But, the God who created you knows how to help the
wound in your heart to heal. I can tell you this is true because of my experience.

Many sea creatures show this truth. Sea fans have a flat “plate” on the far end of their tough stem. It grips the rock better than you can imagine. This is
called a “hold fast” and that’s just what it does—it holds fast. A diving friend and I tried to rip a hold fast from the sea floor, but it didn’t budge. I
couldn’t even dig it off with my dive knife.

A cream-colored, shiny shell called a flamingo tongue lives on sea fans. The mollusk creature that lives inside the shell actually nibbles on the sea fan
and strips it of some of the outer covering, wounding it. If just one or two flamingo tongue shells live on a fan, it doesn’t cause a problem even though it
is eating the fan. The sea fan can grow back or heal the wounded area. But if more than one or two live on the fan, it can’t grow back fast enough. The
fan will be destroyed.

When I dive the wall, I plunge to over 80 feet. On the very edge of the wall I see the giant deep- water sea fans clutching the corals. They like to hang
off the wall where the currents are strong and filter feed on plankton that swirl about. The “web” of these fans is open wider than those of the fans that
live in shallow water. That’s one way you can tell them apart.

Sea fans know that to thrive and to heal their wounds, they must take in the best food they can find. Since they are held in place by the“hold fast you
can be sure they aren’t going shopping for groceries. They must filter the sea for food. Sometimes the sea looks like soup because so many plankton swim
about. The fans are very happy about this!

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The Girl God Rescued Bonus 10

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