Photos by Ron.

Our prodigal goldfish, Lazarus, got his name a year and a half ago, when he apparently came back from the dead at a moment when I needed some inspiration. (If you’re not familiar with the story, Lazarus was the man Jesus raised from the dead in the gospel of John.)

Since his initial apparent resurrection, Laz has had a habit of disappearing for several months at a time, only to reappear at moments when I need a little reassurance.

This morning was one of those moments.

I woke up with a screaming headache, and it seemed that no amount of “leaning on the sustaining infinite” was going to jump-start my morning.

I felt so rotten that I wound up going in to work almost an hour late, and despite spending a big chunk of my 15-minute commute on the phone with a practitioner, I got the sinking feeling that my whole day was being sucked into a downward spiral.

I normally choose Christian Science treatment for illness, and I haven’t taken so much as an aspirin in the better end of three years, but by 1 p.m., I felt so horrible that I caught myself seriously considering the possibility of swapping my practitioner for something in a little orange plastic bottle with a “do not use while operating heavy machinery” label.

I had just about made up my mind to come home and pass out for the rest of the afternoon, but I decided to check my e-mail one last time before I left. The moment I logged in, I found a message from Ron in my inbox, reporting that Laz — whom we had once again given up for dead — had pulled another of his materializing-out-of-thin-air (or is that thin water?) tricks as Ron was cleaning the decaying remnants of the water hyacinths out of the pond.

Do I need to tell you what happened next?

As I looked at the photos Ron had posted to his Flickr account, I remembered the moment I discovered Laz hiding under the hyacinths two summers ago, a colorful little reminder of God’s care.

I had to laugh at his timing: Here he was again, as if on cue, at a moment when I was ready to give up.

The headache began to fade as I admired the pictures of my beautiful goldfish, and within a few minutes, I was back to normal. I had a productive, enjoyable afternoon and a perfectly lovely evening — complete with a nice testimony to share at church about the pretty orange-and-white fish who’d helped heal me of a nasty headache. 🙂

Hope your day was productive and happy, too.


2 thoughts on “Lazarus”

  1. Chris (grits blog) and Kim P. (spirit & entrepreneurship blog) were just talking about this the other night! that creatures will come to us when we need them, bringing reassurance from God. Kind of like angels.

    Nice work, Laz!

  2. Emily, your posting is perfectly timed with the column I wrote for next week’s Independent. I’m going to email it to you. I think you’ll see how similar it is!

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