This morning, Jedd awoke first in the house. He talked to himself pleasantly, moved around in his crib, etc., and we could hear it through the monitor. Some time later, I went up and opened his door. He smiled instantly. Pointing to the A/V machine that hangs over the back side of the crib, he identified two items as clear as day: “Fish. Batteries.”
I don’t know too many other 21-month-old kids, but I’m pretty sure this one is cool. And verbal. Karly is even convinced he has my “gift” (curse?) for hearing sounds of words and effortlessly relating them to other words that have similar sounds. Today, though, he was simply telling me that his aquarium-radio–it plays a lullaby or two and has a soft light and moving, fish-like objects inside it–was working because of new batteries.
And so I’ll speak briefly here of related things.
Fish. For all the proliferating Christian paraphernalia these days, I’m not always sure anyone has a clue why the fish is a Christian symbol. The Greek word for fish is ichthus (or ixthys, if you prefer). The letters form an acrostic that speak of Jesus and were reportedly used in the early days, during Roman rule, to identify Christians.
I – Iesous (Jesus)
Ch (X) – Christos (Christ)
Th – Theou (God’s)
U (Y) – ‘Uios (Son)
S – Soter (Savior)
It is said that one first-century Christian would meet another, draw one half of a stick-figure fish in the dirt, and the other would complete the picture, thus expressing solidarity and safety. The fish united the two symbolically and theologically.
There was a time that near my front door lay a large garden rock with a simple fish painted on it. I liked that rock. It identified my house as a Christian one, and I liked to think that it expressed something significant to any Christian who crossed my threshold. At the very least, it was directly tied in my mind to Jesus, Who simply must be central in our faith.
Batteries. Jedd’s lullaby-humming aquarium needs batteries in order to hum and light up. He knows this. Of course he doesn’t know exactly the nature of the power, but he knows now that “batteries” is the word that has something to do with what Mom put in there in order to energize the machine. Next, he wondered aloud whether there were batteries in his favorite stuffed animals–Bob, Goat, and Paca. (Alas, no animation there.)
Thank you, Jedd, for the two-word reminder. Fish was a reminder of identification, and batteries was a reminder of the need for, and source of, energizing.
I could use some battery power. I need some animato, some animando. I need no more drains on the energy I have. So, please, God. . . .