"Shucks!" said the little fish as he swam out of his
school and came home. Sammy’s mother could tell that he was upset by the way
he made a big splash as he swam into his room, moving his tail back and
forth so hard. She could also tell he was upset because he swam right past
the treat that she had made for him and he always loved his treats.
"What’s wrong?" she called, "Maybe the two of us can fix it if you tell me
what it is." Sammy swished into the kitchen and started to explain between
the nibbles of the treat.
"Mom, I was learning about our Savior today and the teacher was telling us
how when he was born, camels, sheep, goats, calves…and just about every
other animal was there!" Sammy said, clearly frustrated. "But not even one
His mother smiled and said, "I don’t think that every animal in the world
was there—it would have been very crowded around the manger," she chuckled.
"It’s not funny Mom. Don’t you see? The tree gave him shade, the plants gave
him food, the other animals watched over him…but what did the fish do?" he
said. "We didn’t do nothing!"
"We didn’t do anything," his mother corrected. "And that’s not so. Let me
tell you a story that I’m sure will make you happy."
Little Sammy couldn’t imagine how his mom could make him happy. But many
times when he was hurt or had been treated badly his mom could make him feel
better and sometimes even laugh. But he was sure that this time was
different. After all, Sammy wondered, how could she change something that
had happened so long ago.
Sammy watched as his mother made herself comfortable in the same chair that
she would always take him to when he was upset. She picked up the Bible and
began to read from the gospel. She told him about how Jesus was teaching the
people who had come from all over to hear him.
"They had been walking for days to see him in hopes of seeing a miracle,"
she said, "and they were tired and hungry. ‘How are we going to feed all of
these people?’ one of the apostles asked Jesus. ‘We have only five loaves of
bread and two fish—barely enough for us.’ But Jesus said that God could make
anything possible. He asked the apostles to sit everyone down. He took the
bread and fish, looked up to heaven and divided them to feed over 5,000
people—and they still had some left over!"
With a tear in her eye Sammy’s mother said, "You see Sammy. He has blessed
us—by his father he has blessed us. No other animal was so blessed that just
two of them were used to feed thousands of people. We became part of the
miracle that so many had walked so far to see. Early Christians used a fish
symbol to identify each other. And more recently you will still see the fish
symbol as a sign of faith, on clothing, jewelry, bumper stickers, and
just about anywhere.
So now do you see how special we are?"
Sammy’s eyes were wide with surprise and he had the biggest, proudest smile.
"You did it again Mom. I love you!"
With that, Sammy took off with a mighty splash to go share the story with
his friends. His mother smiled and gave a silent prayer of thanks to her
The Christian fish symbol was created when the early church was under
persecution by the Romans. A believer would draw half of the fish in the
dirt and another would complete the symbol in order to communicate their
shared faith. Today, the fish is still used by Christians to communicate
their faith to each other and to the world.
According to some accounts, the symbol itself may have
come from the miraculous story of the loaves and fishes (John 6:1-13); or
from the meal of fish Jesus shared with His disciples at the Sea of Galilee
after the Resurrection (John 21:1-13); or from the story of the coin found
by Simon Peter in the mouth of the fish (Matthew 17:24-27).