A Grateful Whale

Bill Brinkworth

WhaleA 45 - 50 foot humpback whale was rescued off the coast of San Francisco. The whale had become entangled with ropes, crab traps, and weights. The animal was so weighted down that he could hardly surface to get air. A rescue team was summoned to attempt to free the 50-ton behemoth.

Divers went into the water and discovered that at least 20 crab-pot ropes, each being about 240 feet long, and their weights were tightly wrapped around the whale. The humpback’s tail was encircled four times by ropes. Twelve crab traps, each weighing 90 pounds, hung off the whale.

Soon four divers were in the water cutting off the entanglements with curved knives. The whale quietly waited and allowed the rescuers to free him. The diver who cut the rope from the creature’s mouth remarked that the whale winked at him as he did his work.

After realizing he was free, the animal swam to each diver and nuzzled them. It was as if the animal was showing a thank you to each one that had had a part in his new freedom. He certainly was appreciative to those that worked to free him.

Is it possible that that whale has more manners and appreciative courtesy than most people do? There are too many husbands that rarely thank their wives for all the important things she does to make their lives easier. Too many children never even think of thanking their fathers for working diligently each day to provide for their upkeep, nor do they even consider thanking their mother for her sacrificial efforts to provide a good home for them to live. Countless bosses are the topic of criticism and gossip, but are hardly ever thanked for providing a job for their employees. Teachers put in long hours in going the extra mile to grade papers and spend much of their time helping those that do not want to be helped and never hear any form of appreciation. Police put in long days trying to protect residents they do not even know, and face ridicule and threats from many that are breaking laws, but rarely do they ever receive any gratitude.

Many make our lives much more pleasant and safe. We owe them for their work and effort. It takes no intelligence or character to ridicule, judge, or criticize others. It does take an appreciative, grateful spirit to realize what we have and to thank others for their part in our lives. As the whale “thanked” his rescuers, there are many of us that need to do the same to those that have helped us.

If gratitude is due from children to their earthly parent, how much more is the gratitude of the great family of men due to our father in heaven. — Hosea Ballou


This article was featured in The Bible View #126.

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