The seashore is the long curving front porch of the soul. As we wonder along the edges of self-discovery and spiritual rebirth we find tiny messages in shells sprinkled in the sand. As an anonymous poet wrote "Finding Seashells": Come walk with me/Along the sea/Where dusk sits on the land/And search with me/For shells are free,/And treasures hide in sand.
The shells found include tiny ones almost hidden by the grains of sand, common ones with beauty that escapes the hurried or causal glance, rough textured or worn glossy smooth, and some so strange that their rare presence draws a soft sigh of awe.
One shell was found tumbled up across the warm sands. It was dull, rough, pitted by the action of impact with underwater obstacles, bleached by the sun and worn down by its long journey across the world. Picking it up,shaking out the dirty sand and grass, out fell a glimmering small shell. Turning it the light caught the unworn shell bringing out a myriad of tones and rich color.
What accident of nature had swept the smaller shell into the crumbling skeleton of another creature? Had the smaller creature been some random hitchhiker stealing a ride on a strange journey? Or, had the larger shell willingly, sacrificially carried it, like a careful mother, on its long and hazardous trip?
Are we like that smaller shell protected on our journey by the arms of another who takes the buffeting, tumbling, and hard knocks for us? The older shell grew worn and pitted, rough and harshly worn became its surface, all to allow the shell within to emerge glowing and lovely.
Sometimes we take hard knocks in life, but thanks to the grace and love of God, sometimes we emerge smooth and glowing because their was ONE who willingly, sacrificially, carried us like a nurturing parent on the long and hazardous journey we call life.