One of the joys of a recent trip to the coast with my family was collecting shells with my three-year-old granddaughter. She was more than ready to go on an adventure on the beach. The water was cold and the wind off the water felt even colder. That didn’t phase her as she happily collected her sand bucket and wrapped herself in a warm jacket. “I’m ready Grandma, let’s go!” Before I could respond, she was making her way closer to the ocean waves. I caught up with her and held her hand as we approached the water. Suddenly, I heard the distinct sound of a shell falling into her bucket. I was amazed at how quickly she found her treasure. How can that be possible? It always takes me a long time to find shells on the beach.
I was looking for the perfect shell with no marks or broken pieces. I ignored the broken shells tossed aside or a dropped by a disappointed seagull. Not my granddaughter. She has such a tender and compassionate heart. She wanted every shell because that is exactly what it was. It didn’t have to be perfect. A shell is a shell, broken or not.
When did I start believing that a shell had to be perfect before I paid attention or noticed it on the sand? My granddaughter taught me a lesson from God that breezy afternoon on the beach. We are all imperfect children of God. We don’t have to be perfect to be selected or adored or held as a treasure in God’s eyes. A child of God is a child of God, broken or not. A shell is a shell and my sweet little granddaughter happily collected as many shells as she could, most of them broken. Did I mention she has a tender heart?
God doesn’t toss us aside or drop us in the middle of our daily struggles or even bigger challenges in life. God doesn’t seek perfection. We are children of God, broken and imperfect Yet God will always hold us as treasure in his compassionate and loving heart.