I’m not the most religious of souls, although I was raised catholic, and I’m giving my kids a taste of the same. However, this photo got me thinking about the current state of America, which is governed in large part by christian values. It was taken at Dry Tortugas National Park last summer. We were fortunate to go there via seaplane, spending several hours in the sand, the water, and walking the grounds of an unfinished military fort, a prison, a lighthouse, at present a National Monument. At the very top of the fort, the views are magnificent. there amid the retired cannons and relics. The photo is of the dock ruins. It’s a Godly image. How can you not see hope and beauty and light? There is much of the same beneath the surface, this complex network of sea life, the fish so dense at times it seems there is no water. Larger fish, much larger, give perspective to our own insignificance. And through it all, if one wishes to remain submerged, if only for another glimpse of something beautiful, there are jellyfish, these tiny creatures getting wholly intimate. The photo, the image, is rather perfect, even taken on an old iPhone 5s, but there beneath the surface it isn’t always so. Whether we rise above in the afterlife is something we pray to do, we hope, we have faith. This world, as beautiful as it is, and as grateful as we should be to live in America, has pain for us, and imperfections. Do we eradicate the jellyfish, for even they have a purpose, and in themselves beauty? We cannot alter the state of life, not through policy, political correctness, but we can swim gracefully amid the sea, we can rise for air, look to the heavens in awe and with hope, even though the little bastards are at present stinging on our private parts. Amen.