A trip to Southern California has to include a trip to the beach. That’s where the eleven of us headed yesterday. We stayed until all of us had gotten wet, dug for crabs, built roads and castles and tunnels in the sand, until the seagulls had eaten Carson’s sandwich and Diana’s mini Oreo’s (all of them), until the babies were caked in sand, until it was time to reapply the sunscreen, until all the big dudes and some of the little ones had tried the rented boogie board and finally, and this is where my thought for the day begins until we had discovered and collected and rinsed and bagged up lots and lots of seashells.
My collection of sea treasure began on a solitary stroll to the pier and back to the family spot on the sand. As the water spilled up and then hurried back out to the sea it left behind hundreds of shells. I collected the good ones and with the next wave, everything I hadn’t deemed collectible disappeared. I wondered how many “go a rounds” these shells had made. Some of them were pretty beat up.
I shared my seashell collection with the “grands.” They became interested in making a collection of their own. So leaving sand castles behind, we went down to where the water meets the land. What I observed for the next thirty minutes was the tremendous difference in the way I collect shells and what the children see as buried treasure revealed. Where I collected a pocket full, they collected several plastic sand buckets full.
“Grandma, look at this one, it’s beautiful!” “Wow”, I say, not wanting to make four, seven and nine year olds feel bad about their collector’s eye. What they were all excited about were pieces of shells, chipped shells, shells with holes in them, certainly not like the perfect specimens in my pocket. They were thrilled over the kinds of shells I had rejected and allowed to wash back out to sea.
I think God is like a little child when it comes to collectibles. He sees the chips and the holes and the broken pieces in us as evidence of experience, not as a disgrace and a reason for rejection. “As adult children” of God, we see, and think we know exactly what he’s looking for. We’re hard on ourselves and we’re hard on others. In our minds, few of us make the cut. But much of what we see in ourselves and others are the scars of submitting ourselves to earth life experience, not indicators of our value. Our appearance is often the indicator of a life long tussle with mortality. Our condition, as we finish the war that started in heaven, makes us more God’s treasurer, not less. And like my grandkids, our Savior hopes to take home every shell on the beach.
By Nannette W.
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All right reserved.
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