As we walked along the shore, I was mesmerised by all the shells on the seashore. We picked up many of them. They were all beautiful and precious. We even put up with the locals sneering at us because we were acting exactly like tourists. We didn't care. The shells were so beautiful.
But the thing about sea shells is that they are broken and exhibit a lot of erosion on them. Each one has a flaw. I saw one set of broken shards of a conch shell. There were so many pieces that I thought perhaps I could find all the pieces and glue the shell back together. But then I imagined in my mind what that would look like. Glue hanging out of the glued together bits. I realized that as much as I could try, the broken pieces would never be as beautiful as their original created state. Broken as they were, I would just make them worse if I tried to glue them back together.
How like us.
We all are like those broken seashells along the seashore, shattered by the pains of life. And yet, as Francis Schaeffer once said, we are glorious ruins. We still have within us the glory of what we once were. And there is nothing we can do to restore ourselves to our former glory.
Yet, in Jesus we are precious. He does not merely fix our broken pieces, he makes us new. As you look around you this day, remember that those you see are broken pieces on the seashore. Each one precious and beautiful. Each one in need of new life. Let us together bring that good news of the gospel to our own seashore.