Thursday, February 24, 2011

Got Your Back

Nature is full of interesting phenomenon. Everywhere I look, my mind absorbs the wonder of it all and instantly digests things into analogies. I suppose that is a job hazard, being a pastor’s wife with years of teaching children and youth and now as a writer.  But I figured hey…if Jesus did it then so should I.

Residing in the beautiful Northwest, I’m blessed to live in the wonders of the mountains among snow capped volcanoes and still have the opportunity to drive a couple hours to the Pacific Ocean.  Once my feet hit the beach, I instantly revert back to a child and anxiously wait for low tide so I can poke around among tide pools and see all the living creatures. (I know, it’s not that much of a revertion…revertage… rever..okay… I’m a big kid)

On a recent trip, I watched in wonder at an amazing nature lesson. In my mind, the name Hermit Crab conjures up the image of a shell stealing creature that prefers to be alone under its own rock among the tide pool community. Oh, but contraire… watch the video below and see for yourself.

When I saw with my own eyes the instant reaction of the larger crabs scurrying to the rescue of the runt of the colony, I realized that despite their name, Hermit Crabs are very social little creatures with a sense of responsibility to their fellow-crab. Immediately my mind went into analogy mode and I thought of this group blog, my fellow-wordsmiths. I realized what I’d just witnessed was encouragement in action.

In the days, weeks, months, and years to come, this blog is designed specifically to give hope, support, love and instruction to our readers, our co-authors, and those who stumble through on “accident”. We will strive to put into action the simple lesson witnessed through the Hermit Crab. Should you feel like the runt that landed on his back, unable to right yourself for whatever reason, we hope you find a community here that will flip you over and set you on your way.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV) If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

I’m forever thankful for the many times I’ve been flipped off my backshell and assisted out of a vulnerable position…how about you?


  1. You live in my old stomping grounds! I loved beach combing with my grandmother along the Straits, Grays name it, and am a beach tramp to this day ;) The background picture for my website ( is from Lake Michigan beach~not the Pacific, but huge, non-the-less.
    That video was amazing and what a lesson, indeed! Thank you, Mari, you truly made my day, even if you really made me homesick :)

  2. Oh, honey - LOVE that lesson. Love being that "helper." Great stuff, sweetie.

  3. It's the best mission in the world—flipping and being flipped! We humans think we are so smart. Your post reminded me that the size of one's brain does not intelligence make—those little crabs show us the way.

    Many thanks for the excellent reminder.

  4. We are gathering around you today and wouldn't dare let anyone touch you to let you be flipped over. Praying for you as one little hermit crab to another:) Love you lots and LOVE this lesson. I can't wait to visit this area in WA with you. One of my favorite things, stomping around and exploring with my best friend, pretending like we're 12 instead of 47.

  5. Loved this message! I totally believe in flipping.

  6. Love the video! Fantastic analogy, thanks for sharing this awesome life lesson!

  7. Beautifully put - you also reminded me that the thing I miss most here in Colorado is the ocean! I have lived close to it on the west coast before - your video captured it all!

  8. Oh yes! I've been flat on my back before and needed someone to set upright and in the right direction.

    Thanks for sharing this, Mari.

  9. Love it Mari! I don't think it's just the Word that reveals our maker's nature, but the natural world, too. This is a prime example.

  10. Mari, this is wonderful. And oh what a lesson. Thanks for being there for me.

  11. I've enjoyed becoming acquainted with each one through reading your blogs and I'm honored to be the little hermit guy (or gal). In so many ways it's a sure fit. Patty, thank you for creating a safe place to warble on unsure legs, knowing the sure-footed and seasoned warriors of the Word are here to encourage and guide. Thank, Mari, for the home video of my journey :) God Bless.

  12. I was at the beach when this blog was being developed and I knew exactly what I was going to post about after watching this clip over and over again back in our room. I was amazed and I knew many of the gals on here have flipped me over more times than they probably care to count.

    I smiled at the comments above. Longings for the beaches, small brains, memories of needing flipped... who knew a tiny crab living in a stolen/borrowed shell could teach us so much?


  13. Very cool video, Mari. And even cooler thoughts that are both simple and profound. Love, love, love when God teaches us so quietly and yet the lesson sinks so far down.

    And is just me or did the water look cold??? Sorry, had to ask.

  14. We do need each other don't we? This is perfect in showing the need for community in our lives. Thank you from one who's been flipped more times than she can count.

  15. Such an encouragement, Mari. Awesome post.

  16. Wow. LOVE that!! Yes, many of the writers here have done that very thing for me many times over the last 3 years. So thankful!!

    Loved it, Mari!!



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