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When we lived in Rhode Island our small house was only two homes from a tiny beach on the Warren River, a tributary to the Narragansett Bay. I was a stay at home dad. From age 1-4 years old I was at home with our daughter while my wife worked at a local Presbyterian church as their solo pastor. Our days were filled with dancing, hikes, biking, visits to farms and tea parties. Yet, the thing that my daughter craved more than anything else was to spend time at the beach.
Down the street from us were a couple of 9-year-old twins. Their parents made violins out of their house and whenever they were not in school this boy and girl were exploring the ample nature in our neighborhood. My daughter loved these two and wanted to accompany them on every single one of their adventures. Since I was an overly protective parent this meant that I would trudge alongside them as they played. Through the brush, the salt marsh, wading into the river and along hidden paths we went looking for a new adventure. They nailed wooden steps up our swamp maple in the front yard and took turns swinging on our hammock. Still there was one location that everyone always ended up and that was the tiny beach at the end Beach Street.
It wasn’t long on that beach when one of the twins would exclaim, “let’s look for glass!”
My daughter would clap her hands and say, “yes!” I would already be scanning the edges of the surf for anything that glittered in the sun.
“There’s a red one!” someone would proclaim and sure enough a small red glass lay in the palm of a tiny hand. The constant surf had smoothed the glass’ jagged edges while its surface had a frosty look.
“I found a yellow! Here’s a brown one! Wow a white one!” With each found piece of glass the excitement was building. It always peeked when someone found the rarest glass on the beach.
“Look, everyone, I found a piece of blue glass!” Everyone would gather around and we could barely contain our happiness. With our pockets full of glass we would walk back to the twin’s porch. There in the corner was a huge pile of glass, which we had rescued from the sea. It was a kaleidoscope of colors that beautifully shimmered in the sun.
When I think of the nature of God this image continues to get stuck in my mind. My God is like those children on the beach who are excited about every broken, seemingly worthless piece of glass. My God excitedly searches out their shimmering brilliance that might be half hidden by sand. Even though they are different sizes and colors God lovingly collects them so that their beauty can be fully realized when bringing them all together. God is excited about each and everyone of us and gathers us together because God loves to see the beauty in that which other’s can not see.
Photo by icesailr
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