Ozzy and Harriet, the resident sea wall bald eagles of Haines, AK.

I’m starting to think whales are like God, and it would behoove us to think about this more often.

What? Whales are Like God?

I’ve seen a lot of whales this year, and each time I see one, I realize how much I can’t see. I’ve seen and photographed whale tails, whale blowholes, and even a whale fluke, and some fins. But the more whale parts I see, I more I realize whales are like God. Few people see an entire whale at once. We only see parts (and sometimes, we can’t even identify exactly which part we see).

Whales seldom levitate their entire bodies above water (I’ve seen it happen once, and it happened so quickly I didn’t get a photo). Most people know what whales look like through models and drawings, but they aren’t to size.

At one point, the world population of whales was in danger of extinction from over-hunting. We know more about whales than we did a hundred years ago and realize their importance. But most people don’t know whales pass on culture to their offspring and speak in different dialects.

We know so little, yet often claim to have ‘seen a whale.’

A young humpback whale surfaces near our boat.
A young humpback whale surfaced near our boat, took a shallow dive, and came up between the catamaran’s pontoons.
A humpback whale in the Lynn Canal in Alaska.
We could hear the humpback whale breathe and see parts of her before she dove.
It's a fluke
A fluke! I’ve never photographed a fluke before. Our captain explained that humpback whales have the longest arms of all creatures.
Whales feeding?
We think a mother humpback whale was teaching her baby how to feed on fish. Baby whales gain eight pounds an HOUR.
A whale tail
So many tails in one photo! Fishtails, bird tails, and a whale tail.

We can’t fit whales in a box (nor even a single camera frame). They don’t act the way we expect them to, and they’re bigger than we can imagine or see at once. They communicate in ways we don’t expect and have a sense of humor (coming up between a boat’s pontoons? That’s funny!).

We can look at all the photos, watch all the videos, and study all the models, but having our own whale encounters is the only way to really understand a bit of the strength and majesty of a whale.

And I would say the same about God. Whales are like God, and it matters because we need to have our own encounters with him and not depend on someone else’s version or vision.

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  1. Great analogy Anita! My second daughter & I spent a week watching Humpbback whales on the Gold Coast one year, so many breached (mothers & calves) over that time that it was absolutely awe inspiring 🙂
    Blessings, Jennifer

  2. Another wonderful post in both words and photos! And you are right – Each encounter with God may reveal another facet of His character to us, drawing us into a closer relationship with Him. Nature has such an amazing way of reminding us of our Creator!

  3. By design, creation reflects the glory and character of God. Here’s something I love to think about: God created the metaphors we see in scripture to understand him and the life of faith better. He created the very things that help us understand him. Thanks for pointing us to this.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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