By Jim Brown, Moderator
Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Melvin the Squirt found his way to our home after weekend services at Grace Community Church. Everything within me said, “Don’t bring him home because he will just take up space and all he does is eat and sleep.” I also knew he would need his water cleaned regularly and that he would beg for food every day. Besides, I was way too busy to look after him and my track record for this kind of guest always ends with someone crying, a conversation about death, and a shallow grave in the back yard.
You see, Melvin the Squirt was a big, homeless goldfish that my nine-year-old wanted to rescue. Isaiah saw him all alone and begged me to bring him home. I tried my normal response that went something like this, “We don’t need another fish in our house. He will die in a few days and besides, we don’t have time for another fish-guest.”
Immediately he gave me those big, sad, blue eyes and the curled bottom lip. It’s a come-on-Dad-look that any parent knows, the one that goes right to the dusty compassion-filled corners of your heart.
I’m a real sucker for that look, so we loaded up Melvin and drove home. To make matters worse, we drove 20 miles below the speed limit because his water was splashing everywhere. I had owned this stinkin’ fish for five minutes and I already hated him; he was invading my life and was interrupting my plans.