by Tammy Phillips
July 18, 2020
So, God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:27 NKJV
One of my greatest joys is going to the beach and collecting seashells. Every shore that I have travelled to around the world offers different shells. I was amazed by God when we traveled to the Polynesian Islands. One atoll was not a mile wide. It could easily be traversed from side to side. Not only did that island have different shells than the other islands, each side of the island offered different treasures.
Why does shelling bring me such joy? I have thought about this for days now.
Shells are perfect architecture created by God.
Shells are different sizes.
Shells are different shapes.
Shells are different colors.
Every shell is special.
Every shell is different.
Every shell is fragile.
Every shell is beautiful.
Every shell is unique.
Each shell is like a precious jewel.
Every shell is a treasure to me.
When I am blessed to visit the beach, I want to take all the shells home with me. They just bring me great joy.
Why in the world would I ever place more value on a shell than a human life?
I do not do it consciously. However, If I walk by your human shell that is sick or hurting, I have done just that. If you are not the right size, shape or color and I cast you off as broken or worthless, I have done just that. If I speak unkindly to you, am I valuing you? If I ignore you and pass by your pain, have I not devalued you as less than the shell that I have stopped and taken care of as treasured creation of God?
Why can’t we, as a whole, recognize and value every human as perfected architecture created by God? Yes, we all have little imperfections caused by life. We all have made wrong choices. We have all sinned. Why do we so easily judge the human shell: the size, the shape, the color, the imperfections and the flaws? Why do we not choose to extend the grace so freely given to us as Christians? Why can we not appreciate the soft bodied being that is hidden inside and created in the image of God?
We will shed our human shell. It will die, our spirits will not. Isn’t it time to stop and take time to look at what is on this inside of the shell? We need to slow down and treasure each human. We need to see each person as God sees them.
Every shell has been on a journey and every shell has a story to tell.
I enCOURAGE you to love, appreciate and treasure every human shell that you come in contact with. Take time to stop and listen. This will not be easy. We do not like the interruptions. (Jesus didn’t mind them.) This is going to be an intentional, on purpose, disciplined action.
P.S. Remember, love what is inside your shell while you are at it. You are worth it.