It was a new day under the sea, a day just like every other day. However, this was no ordinary day. For today was the day Shelly was born.
Shelly was like every other fish. Shelly could blow bubbles and Shelly could smile. Shelly could talk and Shelly could laugh. Shelly had a laugh that could make you smile from gill to gill. Shelly could get mad and Shelly could get sad. Shelly loved to read and Shelly loved to play with the other fish. Shelly loved to go to school.
But Shelly wasn’t like every other fish. Shelly was born without a right fin.
Shelly couldn’t swim like the other fish could swim. When the other fish played hide and seek, Shelly couldn’t hide in the same places they did. Shelly couldn’t swim straight into hiding places. When the other fish had races, Shelly couldn’t swim as fast as the other fish.
Shelly could only swim sideways.
Some of the other fish accepted Shelly for who she was, who God made her to be, but most fish made fun of her. They swam circles around Shelly. They made fun of “one fin” Shelly. They asked her why she wasn’t like them. They told her of all the things she couldn’t do.
Shelly’s feelings were often hurt, but Shelly knew she was not who they said she was. She knew she was beautiful and strong. When they told Shelly of all the things she couldn’t do, Shelly thought of all the things she could do.
Shelly learned to be creative. Shelly learned to improvise. Shelly learned to turn her weaknesses into strengths. Shelly taught her friends how to use only one fin to swim. Shelly’s friends learned to swim sideways.
Shelly was in school one day when a giant, hungry shark saw them. The shark swam straight at the school, mouth wide open, ready to eat. The fish that could swim straight could not avoid being the shark’s dinner, except the shark didn’t count on Shelly’s quick, creative thinking.
Shelly told her friends to all swim sideways as fast as they could. The shark saw them break away from the other fish and became so distracted he swam right into the side of a large rock.
When all the other fish saw what Shelly and her friends did, they were amazed that they would risk their lives to save theirs, especially when they were so mean to Shelly. That is when they realized that Shelly’s disability was actually a gift.
It was a new day under the sea, a day just like every other day. However, this was no ordinary day.
Today was the day Shelly was accepted for who she is. Today was the day Shelly wasn’t different. Today was the day Shelly was just like every other fish.
Psalm 139:13-18 NIV
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.