Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jar of Seashells

It came in the mail: A simple jar of shells that was collected by a friend, a very dear friend.

With the jar of shells came a simple note. In it, my dear friend said she had collected the shells at beaches all across the eastern seaboard. She was sending them as tangible illustrations of God’s goodness.

That’s because, as she said, that in all of Life’s passing and seasons, the shells were something beautiful that God leaves behind.

As I read the note, I could feel the love she was sending and that she too was a gift from God.

Let’s face it. Not everything is beautiful; not every thing is easy to bear.  We all make wonderful, exciting plans for our lives, our family, our community and sometimes – or even often – they don’t work out the way we wanted.

We may have known how it should go, but we find ourselves facing a different situation than the one we had planned.

But even in the seemingly unbeautiful, unbearable, there is a glimmer of beauty and goodness that can be left behind.

I think about the beautiful shells in the jar. At one time, all those shells were pulsing with life force. They were the homes of living creatures that are now gone. And now they are tiny beautiful reminders of something wonderful that once was.

For us, the relationships we have with other people are the gifts in our lives. Relationships can certainly be strong, but at times, the people in them are fragile.

The shells make me think about how we can all create beautiful, lasting memories in our relationships today.
The challenge we need to ask ourselves is how will you reach out to someone TODAY?  How will you send your love across the miles – or across the street?  What act of kindness can you offer up – just because?

You never know what a smile, a kind gesture, a note that says “I’m thinking of you” can do to warm someone else’s heart and create a tiny beautiful shell they can keep forever.

Each little shell we create is a statement from God about how love always prevails.

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