Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The shell

This past weekend we took Lily and her Mi-Ma to the beach. It was a great day for it, sunny and warm with a hint of a breeze. We met friends and spent alot of time carting water to and from the ocean, rolling in the sand, and dodging the huge waves.

Lily began searching for seashells, and I followed her with the bucket. She began picking up nearly every single one she saw and tossing it in the pail. I kept trying to gently encourage her to just pick the whole ones, the unbroken or unblemished ones, but she was persistent. To her, they were all beautiful.

I finally gave up and just followed her, marveling at how a 2 year old can teach me something that literally changes my thinking in just seconds.

See, I have been having long conversations with God about worth. My worth, my ability to stand before Him and be worthy of His grace and love, and not cower and be shameful of who I am. I pray for everyone I know that needs it, every night....but so rearely pray for myself and what I am longing for- because I feel unworthy of consideration. I confess my sins, I ask for forgiveness, I learn from my mistakes, and I try not to make more, but I still feel so small in the face of my great and glorious God. There are so many better people than me, that do so much more. There are so many who need more, and deserve more.

I am a broken shell. I am not whole. I am not beautifully perfect. But like my little Lily taught me in such a profound way, I am still worthy to be treasured. Perfection is not necessary to come before God. He invites us and meets us just where we are. It is His most amazing gift- grace.

So we picked up the broken shells, and we kept them. We looked at them, marveled at the colors, the textures. We washed them clean and laid them out in the sand. Then we watched as the tide came in and washed them away. I looked at Lily as she watched them go, seeing the bittersweet feelings cross her little face.

But in the end, she simply raised her hand and waved, calling "Bye bye shells! I love you!"

Thank God he brought this amazing child to me, to help me see the world through His eyes. I am so so blessed.