Once upon a time there was a goldfish called Bogglehead. He gained his name from the fact that he was one of those awkward looking goldfish with enormous eyes that stuck out the side of his head. Bogglehead was owned by a little girl who used to make his life hell. Every day she’d come into the room, stick her hand in the fishbowl and start swirling the water round and round, creating a whirlpool. She laughed as she saw Bogglehead flailing helplessly in the current. But poor Bogglehead would end up feeling nauseated and giddy. Other times the little girl would try to catch Bogglehead, scoop him up in her hand and watch him flip fearfully, gasping for breath, as she held him aloft out of the water. Then at the last moment she’d drop him back in again.

One day Bogglehead was enjoying a moment’s peace from the little girl when he noticed something gleaming among the stones at the bottom of the fishbowl. He swam down to investigate and to his great surprise found a tiny brass lamp. He rubbed his nose against it and out popped a magic fish genie. “Greetings master. I am the genie of the lamp. I have the power to grant any wish you make.” As Bogglehead pondered what he might wish for he saw the nasty little girl come into the room. “I wish to be that little girl for a day” he blurted out. And with that, whoosh, the little girl became a goldfish and Bogglehead became the little girl.

“Aha!” thought Bogglehead as he towered over the fishbowl and saw the fear in the eyes of the little girl turned goldfish. “Now I can gain my revenge!” With that he placed his hand in the bowl and started to churn the water into a whirlpool. The little-girl-turned-goldfish started to be thrust around by the current, growing nauseas and dizzy. But after a moment Bogglehead cringed with shame and stopped. “I’m sorry” he said, “that’s not fair.” Instead Bogglehead stopped and played carefully and thoughtfully with the little-girl-turned-goldfish. After 24 hours he was returned to his life as a goldfish and the little girl became a little girl again.

But from that day on things were changed. The little girl no longer tormented Bogglehead, but cared for him. Bogglehead in turn came to enjoy visits from the little girl and to look forward to them.

Application 1: Incarnation, God’s love, God’s care. We often find ourselves in the situation of Bogglehead. God sometimes can appear like the monstrous little girl – uncaring, unthoughtful. What would he know about being a human, and the problems we struggle with? The Christian story however assures that God indeed knows what it’s like to be human, knows it from experience. For in Jesus Christ God came to us as a human being, experienced our world as a human, longed as a human, got hurt as a human, experienced hunger and injustice and rejection and pain as a human. Ours is a God who knows what it’s like to walk through life difficulties and so is able to walk with us through our difficulties.

Application 2: Relationships, conflict, perspective, communication. Bogglehead teaches us about the way to relate to others. Often all we do is see them from our own perspective – that person who hurt us or ignores us. But by trying to see things from their point of view we can be transformed.

Source: Scott Higgins