Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reflections of a Beach Comber

This is another blog that's been simmering…. wondering if this experience is meant to be shared. Sometimes thoughts just need time to be pondered… kind of like how soup is always better after a day or two.

Back in April, I went to the beach. I went expectant that God would meet me there… I was searching… listening… tuned in! God was faithful…. always is! At first, I strolled along the smooth sandy area where, only a few weeks ago, I'd collected so many perfect… unbroken shells that I could hardly hold them all. I was praying, singing praises, and also looking for more perfect shells to add to my collection. Unfortunately, there were none. So, I trudged up to the "trash line" and almost instantly found a beautiful "broken" angel wing. Angel wings are considered "good finds" along the gulf coast, so I was both excited and disappointed.

It was at that moment that the lesson came… the one that has been on my heart to share. Praise God, our Father, that He walks the "trash line" searching, not for perfection, but for broken people… people needing and open to being found. When God "collects" His children with all their imperfections, He, along with all of heaven, celebrates! He knows how precious they are… how much potential they have, and though broken, claims them as His own.

As I looked closely at the angel wing, a shell I most likely would have cast aside a week ago because it wasn't perfect, I began to appreciate its beauty. Yes, it was broken, but it was so intricately designed and had value. I was powerless "to fix" the shell, but rather than focusing on its imperfection, I could focus on its uniqueness and treasure it.

I'm the angel wing… we all are… broken. God, our Father and Creator, is the only one who can heal our hurt and restore us to be all that we were purposed to be. We're not the fixers, but we are called to adjust our focus and see what God sees in even the most shattered broken life…

I shared this experience with my bestest childhood friend while I was out in California. She, unlike me, said that she likes to collect broken shells because she can see inside. As I thought about what she said, another analogy occurred to me. What a gift it is to be entrusted with even a moment of vulnerability... to be given a glimpse inside a person's broken heart…to be able to feel empathy knowing one's own brokenness. So often we put up a barrier in relationships with each other and with God when we pretend perfection. No one is perfect. Pretending just gets in the way of real… the real that is required for relationships…

…just some reflections of a beach comber.


Anonymous said...

That was SO beautiful Tracey. I too have collected broken shells! I have one that I particulary love, it's gray, with a hole in it,and carrying a barnicle. We are all carrying barnicles as well, aren't we? Another side to the story! That barnicle will always be there, but with God's help the load can be lighter. Thanks fr being my sister in Christ. Love you! Penny

David Michael said...

Beautiful story and metaphor!