One gorgeous summer morning, while we were spending a wonderful week at the beach with my husband’s side of the family, my two sisters in law went for a walk. When they came back, I was already launching in my favorite spot under a beach umbrella. Criss showed me a broken shell she had in her hand and said: “aren’t we glad God doesn’t throw us away just because we are a bit broken?”
She then proceeded to tell me how her and her sister, Kerry were picking up shells as they walked, keeping the perfect ones, those that looked beautiful and whole, and tossing the chipped or broken ones, those that were tarnished or unpleasant to the sight. Then, the thought came to one of them, or perhaps to both at the same time (they are still arguing over who thought of the idea first!).
Of course I immediately agreed. I sure am truly grateful that Our Lord doesn’t discard me in my brokenness.
The ideas kept flowing from my sister-in-law’s heart inspired by every broken shell she found. She could see different situations in each shell. She saw how some of us are just chipped on one corner, ever so slightly that we could even pass as whole. Some others are broken in a million tiny pieces, almost impossible to recognize how we started out, almost impossible to put back together again. Some have an unsightly stain that covers our true self…
We are all, however, broken one way or another. Though some may hide it better than others, we have all been tossed around in the current, hit hard surfaces, stepped on, crushed, stained…and our brokenness spells out sin.
Praise the Lord for He can take those pieces in His hands, wipe away the stains, make us a clean slate again, and call us Redeemed!
Summer is on its way out now. The memories of that great trip to the beach live only in the photo gallery of our phones, but I’m sure my sisters in law and I would never look at broken shells again the same way.