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The Beauty of Imperfection


I was “nudged” to get up early this morning for the sunrise, but I got up and saw that it was going to be cloudy, so I got back into bed...

The nudging didn’t stop, so I said, “Okay Lord, let’s see what you want to show me.” I got dressed and walked down to the beach.  

Usually I get caught up in trying to get a good photo of the sunrise, but this morning was different. When I got down to the beach, the tide was lower than I’ve ever seen it, and thousands of shells were exposed.

As the sun rose, I took a few pictures and collected some seashells while I did a little fishing.  I noticed another couple also collecting shells, but what got my attention was that they were throwing some of them back into the sea. I was doing the exact same thing, but hadn’t realized it. I was tossing back shells with imperfections, maybe because they didn’t have enough color, or weren’t fancy enough, but mostly because they were broken.

Almost immediately, God said to me, “Aren’t you glad that I do not discard you because of your imperfections?”  Then the similarities between the seashells and us became the focal point of my morning, except for the big fish that got away.

I realized that much like humans, no two seashells are identical.  Some shells were beautiful on the outside, and kind of ugly on the inside, while some were beautifully polished on the inside and had all kinds of defects on the outside.

Some shells were worn by the ocean’s tumultuous movement, like the trials and tribulations of life. They were full of holes and had missing pieces, the natural damages of aging in the sea; while others seemed brand new, untouched by nature’s wrath; innocent.


I almost felt sorry for the imperfect shells because no one wanted them, so I started collecting some of those, too.  I realized that some were imperfect because they were hosting another living thing, they allowed barnacles to grow on them, and even on each other, as they clustered together to help one another survive.

I couldn’t help but to think of community and how sometimes —sadly— we are ousted because of our imperfections, thrown back into the ocean of life to fend for ourselves.

Then I thought of Hope 4 Life, and the sense of community I feel there; the love and empathy for one another, where we are all collected by the One who would never throw us back.  He has many collections, and each one is His favorite.  

We are His treasure, His individual spoils of the day.

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