Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Darren Milam
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Underwater photography is very challenging. Above ground you are dealing with air, which is usually clear and transparent. When you go under the surface, the visibility becomes more and more challenging. Also, the lighting is different, and your entire body is moving, which moves the camera, etc.

With all my complaining, the result (when you can get a good shot) is pretty amazing. Here we have a few beautiful Fiji Clownfish. This particular species is very similar to the Tomato Clownfish, but was designated as its own breed in 2008, and is only found around the islands of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

In this particular image (captured off the island of Treasure Island, Fiji) we see 5 clownfish in, or around, a purple tip anemone. If you know much about the clownfish and anemone “partnership,” you know it’s symbiotic. Symbiosis is defined as the interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both. This specific relationship allows the clownfish to find protection among the stinging tentacles (it builds an immunity to the stinging) and in return, the anemone gets food that is collected from its partner. They exchange protection for food.

Symbiosis can also be a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups. But when it comes to the relationship between us and God, it’s a little different.

You see, God created humans. He didn’t need to create us, but He wanted to. Our relationship is not symbiotic because God doesn’t rely on us to give something back to Him. What He does want is our love. When we look at our lives and take inventory of what God does for us, what He provides for us, it’s unfathomable to think we can possibly give something back that’s worthy of what we received. That’s the best part of the relationship – God doesn’t expect anything in return. He WANTS us to love and desire to be with Him – that’s all.

The expectations between the clownfish and anemone is a true partnership – you give, you get. Our relationship with God is – we get, and we GET to love Him back. Aren’t you glad to be the human and not the clownfish in this situation?