>Down by the Sea

>Down by the Sea


Posted by Robin Schmidt on September 21st, 2009

Paul wrote a letter to the believers in Rome. In it he says that which is known about God is evident, for God made it evident. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…

I believe that there is much to learn about God from his creation. How could you know the meaning of majestic without mountains? Or could you get as close to comprehending infinite without the grains of sand covering miles and miles and miles of beach?

Traveling to Florida last month, I went, among other reasons, to see what the ocean and sand and shells had to teach me about God, and this is what I learned.

There are several beaches that we walk on the gulf side of Florida. Each has different qualities, different sand or shore, different shells washing up. On the last day of the trip we sat on a beach that had small mounds of shells every couple of yards stretching for miles. It looked as though someone had intentionally dumped piles of shells at regular intervals.

I am always looking for shells. When I looked at these mounds of shells I saw thousands upon thousands of tiny shells all piled together. Each individual shell was one of thousands. Have you ever felt that way? Lost in a crowd? Alone among many?

But when I knelt down to get a closer look, I saw that each shell was unique, different in size, shape, color, texture.

God knows you. You are not lost in the crowd. He can see you, and he can see how you are different from every other person he has made.

When hunting shells, the shell most sought after is the larger, whole shell. One that is intact. They are very difficult to find. Very rare. Most all the shells that wash up on the shore are broken. And most are so broken the very inner parts of the shell are all that remain.

I suspect it is very difficult to make the journey from the depths of the sea to the beach without being broken. The crashing of the waves, tossing shell against shell, and being tossed against the sand wears and chips away at each shell.

Some shells have been worn and chipped away so much that none of the exterior remains, only the swirling inner pattern. Looking at them, their delicate shape, they are quite beautiful. But they are not whole. What a relief to learn that broken things can be beautiful.

Because it is very difficult, if not impossible to get to shore unbroken.


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