A grandmother walked along a beach with her four-year-old granddaughter. They were collecting seashells. The little girl would pick up every shell she saw and put it in her bucket. After a while, the grandmother noticed that a lot of shells the girl had collected were broken. The grandmother patiently instructed, “Let’s just pick up the PRETTY shells.”
Amazed, the little girl replied, “But Grammie, they’re ALL pretty!” The four-year-old took some broken shells from her bucket, and described their beauty: the color, the shape, unique markings, and so on. For example, where the grandmother saw a broken shell, the little girl saw a star.
This true story is a good parable for how God sees us. We’re not perfect. We’re flawed. Some of us have some serious brokenness within and without. Yet God comes looking for us and sees our beauty. Each one of us, in God’s eyes, has a true beauty that makes us uniquely who we are. God sees the brokenness and loves us! When it comes to divine love, God passes by no one.
On the cross of his suffering and death, Jesus freely took upon himself the brokenness of all humanity. He carried all that is broken in our lives, all that is sinful, all that is ugly in human eyes. Jesus died to transform our brokenness into wholeness, our sin into redemption, our ugliness into beauty.
As we travel the seashore we call LIFE, we travel best when we see as God sees. Through the power of the cross of Christ, we can become instruments of healing, forgiveness, and love to the broken people in our world.
By the way, the grandmother started to pick up broken shells after the four-year-old taught her about brokenness and beauty! Who will we find, in this season of Good Friday and Easter, to lift out of brokenness, sharing God’s divine love?
May God open our eyes, and see the beauty of every human being. Amen.