Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Broken, Chipped, and Beautiful

The beginning of summer. 

I’ve longed for this time of year. As spring ended and summer was on the horizon, I spent a couple of weeks at the beach. The ocean is always a source of energy for me. Energy and renewal. 

I love the way the ocean is ever changing, yet always constant. 

The tides continually roll in and out with the soothing rhythm that lulls you to sleep at night and beckons you to chase the sun during the day.

I used to think people were like the ocean…always moving, ever changing, learning to go with the flow…

But this trip, I came to realize we are much more like the seashells we find along the shore. The waves of life sometimes knock us down or carry us places we never thought to go. Sometimes those waves serve to polish us and make us something beautiful or useful. 

Other times we wind up broken or at least a bit chipped. 

 Broken, Chipped & Beautiful
I used to always search the sand for the “perfect” shells. The unbroken, colorful, and shiny artifacts of a life once lived. But now I’ve come to appreciate the imperfect. The broken and interesting forms of a shell that once housed a living creature; A shell that traveled miles upon miles before being tossed at my feet. Or under them…broken and reshaped into the soft white sand squishing between my toes. 

I walk along the water’s edge and pick up bits and pieces of the ocean’s treasures. As I look at the fragments in my hand, I realize what I’m drawn to time and again is the core. The innermost core of a beautiful shell. 

The evidence of inner strength.

Perhaps that is what I embrace when I’m at the ocean. That inner strength. The power and energy of the waves and the sun. 

One night I could see Mars from my balcony. In the mornings I could look one direction and see the moon and look the other to see the sun rising over the water. People young and old stake a claim on the sandy shore, popping up umbrellas and folding canvas chairs. Others bake in the sun on a terry cloth cookie sheet. And yet when I look at them I see more shells. 

What Draws Me to People is What's At their Core
Some of them are beautiful. Others not so much…by human standards. Most of them are broken in one way or another. Many are chipped. All are flawed. 

And I love them. 

These people…these shells hold dreams and plans and ideas. They live and laugh and love. They cheer and mourn. And they were all…everyone of them…created by the same God who put that sun and moon and planets in the sky. The One who put the waves in motion and set us spinning in orbit. 

And in the end it is what’s at the core that matters.

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