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Amazed by God … Swimming with the Orcas

 You put us in charge of your handcrafted world, repeated to us your Genesis-charge, made us lords of sheep and cattle, even animals out in the wild, birds flying and fish swimming, whale singing in the ocean deeps.
Psalm 8:6-8 MSG

Psalm 8 is my go-to psalm. When I consider creation, I frankly am amazed that our God, full of majesty and glory, is mindful of little old me. Why, He even has crowned me—you toowith glory and honor (8:5). Oh my! But then, we were created in His image (Genesis 1:27). Putting us in charge of His creation was a natural next step (Genesis 1:28). 

Spying an Orca in Howe Sound in British Columbia was a real treat. Apparently the salmon and other orca food had been overfished in the past, plus nearby mines had contaminated the waters. With better control, these great beauties are beginning to return. 

The Orca is the largest member of the dolphin family. Their black and white coloring is distinctive—mostly black, white underbelly, white eye patch, white saddle patch near the dorsal fin. They are intelligent, have large brains, and can adapt to challenges. As one group of fishermen tells, the Orcas were stealing their catch right off their lines. They tried to trick them by putting their boats miles apart, using dummy lines, and hauling in their fish more frequently. Within an hour the Orcas had split up into two groups.    

Unfortunately the Orcas have gotten a bad rap from their other name—Killer Whales. They really are very docile and non-aggressive, although accidents have happened. Perhaps there was a mistranslation years ago of the Spanish for “whale killer”,as they hunt their prey well. They are social, traveling in family groups, each with a distinctive dialect of clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls.

What fascinates you and I is their tail slapping and their porpoising—leaping out of water. Once spotted through binoculars, a great cry went up. The nephews rushed to get life preservers on their kiddos and load everyone into their boat for acloser look at the mom and three babies. Lots of excitementfrom the little ones on their return.

From our vantage point at the rail of our ferry the previous day, we had seen an entire pod jumping. What a thrill!

God, how can it be that six tons of blubber gracefully leap out of the water, in concert? How can a family “sing” to each other?Surely they are in praise of Your greatness. I am absolutely amazed with You.   

Nancy P

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