One of my very favorite pastimes is to walk my favorite beach looking for seashells. I love to find shells of different sizes and shapes, colors and textures. Each one makes me smile when they are carefully wrapped in tissue paper and transported home to go into one of my big clear bowls in my home.
When I first starting collecting shells, they were great reminders of family vacation memories and times spent with my loved ones in the beauty of God’s creation.
Recently, I’ve done some research about shells and have learned to appreciate them at a deeper level.
Did you know, that each shell is a home for a sea creature? It might be a clam, oyster, or sea snail. The shell acts as a home and a means of protection from predators. A seashell becomes a portable home for the animal and as the animal grows, the shell grows with it. The only exception is the hermit crab, who looks for a new shell to inhabit when they start outgrowing their current one.
It reminds me of us a Christians, our bodies are with us while we exist on earth. We need to take good care of them while we live here, but we know one day God will give us a new “shell” to inhabit when we live with him in heaven.
If you people watch on the beach, you’ll see many walking hunched over trying to find the “perfect” pretty shell. The one with a special colors or texture and yet, do we see our neighbor with the same lenses? Do we see their different colors and shapes as beauty? Or, do we see their differences as a negative and allow our minds to hold court?
Seashells have two major outward designs. One is more rounded with softer edges, while the other has more pointed edges. The more pointed shells are found in more tropical waters with larger predators. These edges and points give the animal in the shell more protection. When we look at personalities of people, we often see people with softer edges and people with pointy edges that keep us at a distance. People can use their personalities as a self- preservation device if they’ve been hurt too often. Should we be more perceptive of peoples soft edges or pointy edges and try to find common ground?
Finally, there are many places around the world such as Japan and the Caribbean where people can use shells like the large conch shell to create music like horns. The shells have been used in ceremonial fanfare for many years. Thus, the conch shell is often equated with joy and happiness. As a Christian, when you speak or make noise, are you jubilant like the conch shell? Do you show God’s love with your words and actions?
Seashells are fragile, they are easily broken and damaged just like people. I wrapped my seashells carefully in order to transport them home, but do we wrap our relationships with tissue or bubble wrap and care for them as we should?
Next time your at the beach, will you see the seashells the same way?
Blessings sweet friends!