It is the most feared creature in the Amazon. More feared than the vicious Piranha or the cruel Anaconda.
It is a tiny catfish called the Candiru.
The Candiru is a freshwater fish in the catfish family found in the Amazon River. The species has been known to grow to a size as large as 6 inches in length.
The Candiru is eel shaped and translucent, making it almost impossible to see in the water.
The candiru is a parasite. It senses a host nearby by detecting urea and ammonia expelled from the gills.
It swims into the gill cavities of another fish, erects a spiney barb to hold itself in place, and feeds on the blood in the gills, earning it a nickname of the "vampire fish of Brazil".
This vicious little fish will attach to a host fish, fill itself with a blood meal and then dislodge to return to its darkness, leaving a fatal wound on its victim.
This mean little fish has even been known to attack humans in a manner too horrifying to discuss.
What this fish does to its host is reminiscent of the effect bitterness has upon a soul.
I know a family that is absolutely eaten up with bitterness. It attached itself to them, fed itself on that which was alive in them, and then left them with a wound that would never heal and eventually be fatal to their soul.
The amazing thing is that their bitterness stemmed from a supposed desire to forward the work of the Kingdom of God.
It’s no wonder the vicious Candiru is feared even above the Anaconda or the Piranha. You can see and defend against the attacks of this diabolical duo of the Amazon.
The Candiru is more dangerous because it is not easily seen. It is translucent, meaning light radiates through its flesh rather than bouncing off it.
Bitterness has the same effect. It is difficult to guard against because it usually covers itself in supposed light. How many a person has become bitter over what they fully esteemed to be a righteous cause.
Furthermore, the Candiru does no immediate harm to its host. It simply draws its blood meal until it is satisfied and then when it finishes it is the dislodging that creates the non-healing and quite fatal wound.
Bitterness has its effect only after the fireworks are over and the damage has been done. It leaves a weakened soul to slowly die of a wound that it will not allow to heal.
So then how do you avoid the Candiru? How can we stay away from this most bitter of fish? We must remember that the Candiru is a catfish. It lives in the cold, dark shallows of the river.
To avoid the Candiru one must stay out of the shallows and avoid the darkness.
To avoid bitterness, one must stay out of the shallows and avoid the darkness.