A couple of weeks ago, I got to go to one of my favorite places…the beach! The weather was cold, but no matter. Still, I love it. I was out on the beach with the little man. (What is it about 6 year olds that make them not care what the temperature is when they get close to sand and water?) As he was running and jumping and rolling in the sand and pretending to try to not get his clothes wet, I was looking for seashells. Yes, I probably have hundreds, but that hasn’t made the pastime any less inviting to me. I saw the edge of a channeled whelk (as a kid we called these conch shells, but I learned a few years ago that they are two different things). I was excited, because it looked as if it could be whole, the way it was sticking out of the sand. As I started flipping it over, though, I quickly realized it was broken. What I had found was just the side of the original shell. I almost threw it down, but for some reason decided to keep it. As the shell dried out some and I brushed the sand off, I realized the inside was stunning. It was smooth and shiny and iridescent. And I almost threw it away! Which leads me to….
How often do we do that with people? You know….those who’ve been tossed around by life’s storms and aren’t shiny and polished…or even whole…anymore. Maybe they just don’t look like you think they should. Or maybe they’re quiet and aloof. Or even rude or mean. Maybe they don’t live the life that fits your standard of Christianity. Or maybe they just get on your nerves. I don’t think God wants us to throw those people back in the ocean. I think He wants us to…..wait for it….drumroll please….love them. Yep, love them. Warts and all. Brokenness and all. Who knows what God is planning on doing with that brokenness? What if you are the one He plans on using to reveal the beautiful part of them?
So, go out there, hug the sand off someone and tell them how special they are!
Be blessed and show somebody some love!