Backing up a bit, on our drive to the beach yesterday, Ken and I saw something quite amazing - at least to us!
This picture might be a bit hard to decipher but it is a cotton field! And the cotton is ripe for the harvest! We actually came upon this when we made a slight wrong turn and ended up looking for a place to turn around. Ken actually got out of the car and took his camera over the ditch and into the field to take pictures. And then he became a real "cotton picker" when he reached down and broke off this....
Now this northern city girl has never seen cotton on the stem! It is soft and actually looks and feels a lot like the cotton balls you purchase at Walgreens! But what fun to actually see a whole field (actually we saw a bunch of fields after we stopped) of cotton and then to actually get to touch it. Very cool.
And then, this morning on the beach I found these.....
Parts of broken shells. But aren't they amazing? I especially love the top shell. It looks just like an angel wing to me. As I was watching the waves, feeling the wind on my face, and thinking about these shells, I very clearly heard "there is beauty in the broken". WOW! Isn't that true? That cotton stem is broken off of the plant.....and it is beautiful. These shells are just broken pieces, pounded in the surf...but they are beautiful. And Jesus reminded me that even though people are broken....they are beautiful to him. There are lots of ways that people become broken. Sickness, circumstances, deaths, accidents, just life can break someones spirit. The good news is that Jesus doesn't cast aside the broken. He lovingly holds and heals and puts all of His precious broken children on display for the entire world to see! That's you and me folks! All of us are broken in sin. And when we let him, Jesus transforms us into a thing of beauty. And then as we walk through this life, and the waves of life and the winds of adversity toss us around, we become broken again. But just like these shell, Jesus sees us as things of beauty and great worth.
This last year has been very difficult for my family. Losing a baby - a son, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin... well, it has broken us. Lucas will always be greatly missed in our family. Jesus reminded me today that He still sees our family as beautiful and he is gently holding us. No matter how big or difficult or overwhelming your life might seem, it is not to much for Jesus. And more than that, after he has dusted us off, and even when we don't feel "healed", when we see ourselves as jagged and ugly, he cherishes us. There is nothing better than that!
I needed to find those broken shells today! And I needed the reminder that Jesus is at work in my family. Yes, there is beauty in the broken.
Jesus, thank you for fields of cotton, the beach and the waves! Sometimes it is the little things that are the most important. Thank you for your great love and care for us. Holy Spirit, speak gentle words of calm and peace into all of the broken places in our lives. Give us hope in all circumstances and remind us that Jesus sees us as beautiful! Amen