Beauty in the Broken


My solace. 

My refuge. 

The place my heart soars and my soul is at rest. 

Don't get me wrong. I find beauty in every single day. I see God's power and majesty on a regular basis in the mundane and the extravagant. He is visible all around me when I take the time to intentionally look around and acknowledge His presence. 

Yet at the beach, I stand at the water's edge and watch the methodical lapping of the waves against the shore. Or in stark contrast, I find myself in awe of the pounding of the wild and gusty surf during a storm. 

The powerful hand of my God moves the entire ocean, and it shoots sand and salty spray into my eyes -- chafing my skin and sending shocks of exhilaration into my heart. I am thrilled at His power and majesty so visible.

The same power that propels the water to the shore and pounds the coastline with such unrelenting vigor is what alters my other very favorite past time at the beach. 

I am a sheller. From my very first expotition to Lake Erie as a child, I have loved the treasures I have found amongst the sand. Now, mind you, the shells you find at Lake Erie are a whole different sort than those I've collected at beaches that keep company with the ocean.

Interestingly enough, what has always been my goal is to find that "perfect" white sand dollar -- you know the one if you've ever been to a novelty shop near the beach. They will sell them to you for a price, because a "perfect" sand dollar is tough to find. In addition, finding a white one is impossible on the beach, because in its natural habitat it is dirty and sometimes smelly. 

Aren't we somewhat like the shells we find? 

I have found oodles of broken pieces of sand dollars, whelks, coquinas, moon shells, angel wings (isn't that a fantastic name for a shell?), clams, cockles, conchs, lucines, murex, olives, oysters, periwinkles, scallops, snails, and tons of others whose names I don't know. I discover them all in their fragmented, broken pieces.

Let's look at the definition of fragmented for a second:

fragmented:existing or functioning as though broken into separate parts; disorganized; disunified

I have brought buckets, wadded up shirts, shoes, and pockets full of shells home over the years. Some of them have been whole, but so many of them are:

  • Broken
  • Fragmented
  • Pieces parts
  • Shattered
  • Beaten up
  • Functioning as though broken into separate parts -- like the definition above
Just like I see usefulness and beauty in the broken pieces of shells, Jesus sees me and assigns beauty in the midst of my broken and fragmented self. 

Just like I bring home my self-declared treasures and put them on display in places around my home, Jesus declares I am beautiful in Him and sets me out in the world to reflect that beauty to others. 

I find beauty in the broken the same way Jesus finds beauty in the broken in me. I function as though broken into separate parts, as do the shells I find.

Broken shells offer fragmented beauty. 
Broken people do the same. Jesus was broken for you, so He sees the broken in you and determines it it is beautiful. It is useful. It is what draws you closer to Him. 

Leaving a trail of beauty~


Popular posts from this blog

Be Kind

By Name

We Can Be Perfectly Clothed