Why is it that some days, hope is harder to find than others?
In the warm sunny days of southern Maine my favorite hobby is to go looking for sea glass, or some call it beach glass. This is glass that has been basically thrown away, or discarded in the ocean, broken to pieces then washed up smooth and beautiful. Redeemed…..
The process fascinates me. The constant churning of waves, pummeling storms and relentless beating up against rocks and gravel produce these weathered gems. Well, they are gems to me at least. I comb the beach sand to find them. My eyes seem to be trained to look for that tiny glimmer, something that stands out from the sand and rocks, everyday life.
I call them glimpses of Hope.
Most days I find at least one piece albeit small, before I agree to leave. I try to never give up.
But some days, HOPE is harder to find than others.
What a deflated feeling, when I spend hours of searching and I end up with empty sandy pockets. As I can’t help but notice others find them effortlessly, in what seems like in the exact places I just exhausted myself looking.
Sometimes I find pieces that aren’t ready yet. Not smooth, still dangerously sharp and I’m forced to throw them back.
I throw them back into the environment I know will weather and change them over time. They say it can take up to 7 years for a piece to become fully rounded and soft.
Making Sense out of Brokenness
You see, I make broken art with broken pieces. Finding sea glass is more than just the hunt. It represents finding hope and to me each piece is a beautiful portrayal of redemption. I look at each unique shape and I flip it, and turn it, and arrange it until I can make it fit with the other broken pieces. I make them beautiful together. Something whole again. It’s my way of making sense out of brokenness.
Isn’t the Church like that anyway? A collection of broken people, somehow fitting together to make up the body of Christ -Who was Broken Himself. If we are made in the image of God. Then maybe we were meant to be broken, just as He was – broken and poured out for us. (Matt. 26:28)
We All Have a Story
Each piece of sea glass has a story. If it could talk, it would tell you its painful and heartbreaking journey of where it began and how it ended up here. I imagine in the dark, lonely, freezing, cold storms, separated from the other parts that once made it whole, it came to the point where it cried out to the waves,
“Stop, Stop! Please, just stop!”
“Just wash me up so I can see the light of day again. So I can feel the sun on the shore. Please, I’ve had enough…I’m ready”
And the waves mercifully relent, pushing it up with the next tide. Until someone like me comes by and determines it’s not quite ready and throws it back in where I know more time is needed to refine it. Explaining,
“Sorry, you’re just not quite ready, I can’t use you yet.”
It’s Our Process
That’s what the pieces of our lives feel like anyway don’t they? Fragments, shards, and discarded things we’d like to pretend weren’t ever apart of us but they are. We can drop them in the farthest, deepest part of the sea and yet they find their way to the shore, to the light eventually. Then there are pieces we refuse to let get thrown back in the water because it’s a scary process requiring too much faith. We wonder, why can’t I just stay this way?
But it’s not until we are fully weathered by our brokenness, that we seem to be usable -that is, For God’s Glory.
And we don’t seem to get to determine when we are ready. All we can do it trust the process, that He’s making a masterpiece out of our brokenness.
songs to PRAY…
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