Sunday, July 31, 2011

Broken Beauty

A wave slips around my toes, the kiss of cold foam stirring the sand, revealing a glint of pearly pink. I bend and pick up the shell, just a fragment, the swirled design cut short by ragged edges. It’s been crushed by the waves, ground by the sand, yet I admire it and slip it into my bucket with the others I’ve collected.

 The bright bottom of the plastic castle-shaped bucket is filled with shell pieces of all shapes and sizes, the few rare purples standing out in bright contrast to the pale tans and pinks. All of them are beautiful. All of them give a glimpse of the once-whole home that was so carefully built to house the various creatures. I’ll make something pretty with these pieces… I’ll make them into a whole.

It occurred to me that we are like those shells. The world has crushed us and battered us. Perhaps we have a few sharp edges, or ragged tears. We’ve given part of ourselves to the world, and contributed to its change, perhaps just as subtly as the few grains of sand each shell adds to the beach around it. We’re broken, and lie in the midst of the busy world, sometimes feeling useless and forgotten, buried in the sands of time.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17)

Then He comes. Our Heavenly Father scoops us up, just like I picked up that broken shell. He sees a reflection of Himself as the Creator in the colors that curl across the hard surface, in the emotions that swirl in our hearts. He sees what we once were, what we would have been had we not been marred by the sin of the world. He knows what we will be, when we are whole once again—perfect and untarnished.

"But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, 
and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand." (Isaiah 54:8)

Most of all, He loves. He sees beauty in our broken offerings, lifts us in His hands, and puts us safely into His kingdom, His castle. He has chosen us. We have accepted Him. Nothing we can do can change the way He sees us, because He sees us whole, redeemed, His own precious shell. His child.

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
 and uphold me with a willing spirit." (Psalm 51:12)


  1. Amen!! A peaceful post full of hope...and one after my own heart, as a collector of shells, broken or whole! :) I love the visual images and the analogy.

  2. Yes, we're all broken pieces, lovingly refashioned into something exquisite by the Father's hands. Thank you for this beautiful picture of the redeemed, Amy. I pray I always have my Father's eyes when looking out over the landscape of this world.

  3. Loved the visual you created with these awesome scriptures! Powerful and so beautifully written! Thanks for this gift of hope today! Hugs!

  4. I love your wonderful analogy. I, too, am a collector of shells. Sometimes when I pick one up, my husband will say, "That's broken; why do you want that?" I am awed to think how God loves us in all our brokenness.

  5. Our fragments put together by God. I love it. Thank you.

  6. Lovely post and I was right there with you through your colorful descriptions.

  7. Just beautiful, Amy. Thanks, sweetie.

  8. Sigh. Intensely powerful message here, Amy. And one we all need to hear... Thanks, dear girl, for putting something so precious into words (and for giving us a wee image of the seashore).

  9. I needed to read this today. Thanks, Amy, for posting it.

  10. Thanks, everyone. :-) Blessings to you all!



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