Value: Thou Shall not Kill

Everyone on the fishing trawler knew about the dangers of sharks. When they brought their nets in, they saw the big dangerous beasts in the water feeding off of what got loose form their catch. Oliver’s uncle Nemo often talked to him about the dangers before he agreed to let him work as cabin boy on the ship for a summer. Oliver was the only kid on the boat but the sailors liked him and he learned a lot about fishing from them.

The day the ship sank was like any other day. But everybody heard the explosion in the engine room and what it meant when the boat began to tilt because water was filling it from below. They had done drills on this often. Oliver was put in a small life raft boat first since he was the youngest. He held the rope that tied his raft to the ship hoping that soon his uncle and some of the men would join him. But suddenly there was a jolt as the sinking ship jerked in the water. The rope broke and Oliver’s raft began to drift.

He called out to the ship as the rest of the men got into boats and they were yelling back that they would catch up to him. It looked like everybody got off and would be safe but the waves took him further and further away until Oliver couldn’t see anyone any more. He was alone on the open sea in a tiny life raft.

Oliver knew to conserve his energies and he found the supplies and sun block to keep himself safe and healthy while he waited for rescue. That was when he saw the large fin in the water circling his raft. He knew what it was. The great white shark circled and circled as though thinking about what it was going to do. All of a sudden, there was a pop at the back of the inflatable raft. It had sprung a leak. At first, Oliver thought the shark had rammed him but then he saw the big fish several yards in front of the boat watching him so he knew it wasn’t the shark’s fault.

The boat filled with water and Oliver held on as long as he could. He knew his life vest could keep him afloat but he also knew that in the water, he would certainly become lunch for that big hungry shark. Finally, the boat collapsed and sank and Oliver floated in the sea watching the big fin not far from him. It slowly started moving toward him. About two yards away though, suddenly its head rose out of the water and Oliver could see its eyes and mouth.

“Don’t be afraid!” It suddenly said. Oliver gasped and sucked in seawater hearing the killer shark speak but before he could react, it went under and came up between his legs so Oliver naturally became a rider on the big sharks back.

In moments, he was gliding along the ocean surface riding the huge shark like a horse. The ride went on for a long time but soon Oliver made out a small island. The shark swam to the island very quickly and found a shallow cove where he delivered Oliver to dry land.

“Who are you?” Oliver said to the big fish as it turned circles in the cove.

“I am Feratu, the great white shark.” It answered rising up and then going back down when his answer was done.

“I am Oliver, why didn’t you kill me?” He asked urgently.

“I could see you are a child and were in trouble. I cherish my children as much as your parents do so I felt compassion to help you. Sharks are not evil killers like you humans sometimes like to think. We gather from nature what we need to eat and raise our families, just like you do.”

“But I thought Sharks lived to kill. My uncle calls you a killing machine.” Oliver said confused.

“Well the machines man uses to gather fish from the ocean are as much killing machines as a shark is with his teeth.” Feratu observed. “Your uncle gathers fish to sell so you and your family can live well and have things to eat. That is not evil and that is all I do when I hunt. But when I saw you, I knew you were a youth of your kind and that you would grow and become a great man of God. To kill you would be murder. God has told all of creation clearly in his commandments, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Oliver was surprised to hear the fearsome shark speaking of the laws of God. “We have that same law in our Bible. You know the laws of God?” He asked Feratu curiously.

“God made the heavens and the earth to serve him and live by his laws.” Feratu observed. “Sharks live in the balance that the creator placed in the world. We respect our environment just as you should do as land living creatures Oliver. We serve the same god. And I serve the same great master of all creation that you do.”

Oliver thought Feratu was referring to some fish religion. “Who is your great master of creation, Feratu?” He wondered.

“The same as you, Jesus Christ the Messiah commands the sharks, the oceans and all of nature as well as all of mankind. He created us and put us in our place to serve him and make his kingdom great.” The shark answered.

“I know Jesus,” Oliver answered, “I pray to him every day.”

“I do too.” Feratu said. “And it was Jesus who told me who you were and that my mission was to save you. The laws of God were put in place by him to make this world as much like heaven as it can be. I work to obey all of God’s rules and if you do that too, we both will be serving the Lord we love.”

“I promise I will Feratu. And I will pray for you every day and please pray for me.” Oliver said no longer feeling odd asking a great white shark for its prayers.

“I will Oliver.” He shark answered. “You are safe here. I will go find your Uncle and the sailors and guide them here and then me and my friends will guide a rescue ship here to take you home.” And with that, the huge fish disappeared under the sea. And Oliver spent his time waiting in prayer and reflecting on his new brother in Christ, the killing machine Feratu, the ferocious great white who saved him from death in service to Jesus that day.