The Broken Sea Shells


I remember waking up early at the beach as a child, the first thing I heard was the crashing of the waves through the cracked sliding glass door to the hotel’s balcony. The first thing I saw was my Momma, wrapped up in a robe, sipping coffee and reading her Bible on the balcony, glancing up occasionally at the beach with such awe. Look what Jesus did. Look how massive. Look how constant.

That’s one of my best memories, and it’s funny, because the older I get, the more I think about times like those. No matter how far I wanted to walk down the beach or how many sea shells I tucked into my Momma’s hand, she always obliged my desire to find “just one more.” I’m so thankful she always encouraged my excitement, no matter how big or how small my passions might have been.

My favorite thing to do at the beach was always look for sea shells. To this day, I still call them “she” shells, and I have a large collection of the thousands of them I’ve picked up lovingly over the years. I still love looking for shells, and this weekend, I had the opportunity to do just that.

Isn’t it funny how we always look for those perfect shells? The unbroken sand dollar, the starfish that still has all five legs, the uncracked conch… What is it about us that makes us think only the seemingly unscathed shells are beautiful?

When I was walking down the beach staring at the broken shards of what were once probably beautiful shells, before they’d been crushed and tossed and jarred and cracked by the powerful force of the ocean, I couldn’t help but thank my Savior.

Oh, you’re broken, I don’t want you.

Oh, you’re damaged, I don’t want you either.

Look at that big crack! I can’t use you!

I’m so glad God doesn’t look at us that way. He loves us so much that He sees beauty where the world sees brokenness. He knows that the cracks we’ve earned in our hearts by being tossed around by the world have given us character, molded us, and often times, led us straight to Him. What you think are flaws make you beautiful in your Father’s eyes. What a gift.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling. There is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon 4:7

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