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Belgian Hotel Rents Fish to Lonely Guests

Traveling by yourself isn't always the most fun: You might start to miss home, your family, your friends. A hotel in Belgium has come up with an idea to comfort lonely travelers. For just a few dollars a night, guests can rent a fish that can stay with them in their room.

David Dillen, the hotel's manager, explained that the scheme started "a few years ago. The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do…We rent a few fish per week."

But what about animal cruelty? Are these fish treated well—and do they want to be rented out? "We take very good care of our fish; they have been with us for over four years now, so if they were not taken care of, they would have died a long time ago," Dillen said. "They also have a big fish-tank in the housekeeping department, with a shelter, oxygen, and plants."

As Business Insider sums it up: "Perhaps fish aren't the best cuddlers, but it's nice to have a friend nearby when you're in a new place."

Potential Preaching Angles: Renting a goldfish—sounds a little silly, right? Yet those of us who have experienced periods of grief and loneliness might be familiar with such seemingly desperate thoughts and behaviors. In the psalms, we see the psalmists crying out to God many times with their own impassioned pleas for God to be near to them in their darkest times: "Turn to me and be gracious to me, / for I am lonely and afflicted" (Ps. 25:16).

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