Around this time last year, our family took a trip to the beach. We had a really fun and relaxing trip with some friends. Our last morning there, I took a walk to the shore by myself to enjoy the sunrise and take some pictures. As I was walking back to the beach house, I picked up two shells.

The first shell looked almost perfect. It caught my eye because it was whole and pretty. There aren’t as many of those laying on the beach. It’s not completely perfect though. Part of the outside has peeled off. You’d never notice unless you took the time to really look at it.

The second shell I only noticed because it was stuck straight up in the sand, almost as if it were trying to get my attention. I picked it up initially because I was afraid someone would step on it and it would hurt them. As I looked at it, I saw how beautiful it is, even though it is broken.

This all got me thinking about people and their brokenness. The whole shell is like people who seem perfect. They are attractive, they seem to have it all together. But if you look closely, you can see they do have flaws, no matter how hard they try to hide it. A lot of times we are drawn to these people because they do seem to be perfect. The broken shell reminded me of obviously broken people. We tend to overlook them, because their life isn’t as pretty and appealing. But when we take a closer look, we see their beauty through, and sometimes because of, their brokenness. And we may be tempted to step on them – if we do, they will more than likely cut us right back. But we reach down and pick them up, we can help them get to a better place. We can put them in a place to not be stepped on and hurt others, and most of the time, our lives are enriched by the experience.

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