Ugly Salmon, the Fall, and Our Beauty


We live in a world where the best and most beautiful of us are paltry in comparison to who we will be in our glorified bodies. We admire our post-Fall looks as being truly beautiful. But one day we will live continually illumined in the magnificence and splendor of heaven.

Our Beauty

Our Beauty
I can’t imagine who we will be in our glorified bodies. Just think, our voices will finally be a true manifestation of that glory. Our appearance will no longer be darkened by the toll of sin and death, which has progressively increased since our collective fall. Humanly speaking, the further we get from our state in the Garden of Eden, the greater the diminishment of our light. Though we can and do experience the glory and Light of Jesus now, the stage which has been set for us feels less than ideal.

I giggled this morning when I had a thought. Living in our bodies is kind of like living in an old, creaky, haunted house. Sure, the Life of Christ permeates our beings, but we’re always reminded of the dilapidated nature of our earthly dwelling. It’s inescapable.


spawning salmon
A few years back, we made a trip to Alaska. One of the stops was to see the salmon swimming to spawn. While their colors were beautiful, the appearance of the salmon bordered on grotesque. Thousands of salmon were making the final push of their lives, and in these last days, they no longer resembled their younger selves. They were now humpbacked, like Quasimodo. Their mouths were hooked and misshapen and couldn’t take in food. (Luckily, at the end of their journey, they no longer needed their mouths to eat.) Missing scales and battered skin testified to the gouging of the rocks as they struggled and leapt their way upstream. These salmon appeared more like battle worn gladiators than fish.

Because we live in this reality, you may say, “Give me some good news, John!” I know that being called a dilapidated, creaky, old haunted house is a little depressing. The good news is that the Life of Christ can make us glow today. Scripture shows that I can live illumined now. If my eye is single, my whole body will be lit up. This makes me think of the beauty of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body will be light.
Matthew 6:22 Darby

Salmon Fallen Beauty

Fallen Beauty Salmon
No, our external bodies may not be perfect, but He has designed and shaped us that He would be luminous in our lives now. He lives in me and I glow.

So, what does it mean to have a single eye? It is to have eyes for only Jesus. And if we do, He lights our countenance with His luminance. WOW! I think glowing trumps a fading, natural beauty any day.

The Bible says I am to be a body wholly illuminated, not that the appearance of my outer form will be beautiful. Is this glowing state only for special occasions, like a Christmas tree? No, this can and should be my life every day. Our actual intended reality is that His Life shines in us like a glowworm.

If then your entire body is illuminated, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright [with light], as when a lamp with its bright rays gives you light.
Luke 11:36 AMP

The Fall

The Fall
We live in a fallen world. Our Adam family inheritance is more like the Addams family. Yet while my body is subject to the decay of aging, the reality of His Life supersedes this. Christ can make the paltriest among us beautiful. I have seen it over and over, where the internal spiritual reality outshines the limitations of the flesh. The inner glow of Christ’s Life within us shines out in our heavenly reality.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
2 Cor. 4:16 NASB

Who, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, will [not only] transform [but completely refashion] our earthly bodies so that they will be like His glorious resurrected body.
Philippians 3:21 AMP

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3 years ago

I loved this post, John. Natures from metaphor can really drive spiritual truths home, and I did not know any of this about Salmon! I mean, about how their appearances change in the “battle” for accomplishing their mission. Those photos you posted really show that. Also, I read your article just today for the first time, right after receiving the following in my inbox from T.Austin Sparks. I found it interesting how its connected to what you said here, and mentions the Transfiguration of Christ. I never thought about how Jesus longed for His “glory days” of old. It makes… Read more »

3 years ago

You have ‘perspectivised’ me, & made me smile! What a great description you’ve given. Since I live in salmon country I’ve seen this many times, & I’m always amazed at how they live & give their lives in spawning: “battle worn gladiators” indeed! We’ve seen those worn faces that just shine…with His beauty. I love the verse in Phil 3:21 you gave…He works inside…out, in Resurrection. Always, i must decrease that He may increase. (Weymouth 2 Cor.4:17) “For our light and transitory affliction is achieving for us, beyond all proportion, an eternal weight of glory–if we look not at the… Read more »

3 years ago
Reply to  Helen

That is absolutely perfect Helen. Love those scriptures! It is always about the gaze, isn’t it?! And yes when our eyes are on Him and not ourselves, our ramshackle reality fades…hehehe.
Love you