The sun was just peeking over the horizon as my toes squished into the sand. My daughter was up ahead of me on the beach, her bag already heavy with treasures. I ran to catch up, eager to see the latest perfection she was so excited about. She held out her hands to display her shells. Every single one of them was broken.
I sighed. Why do we keep doing this? We have bowls and buckets and baskets filled to the brim with broken shells. It’s a waste of time!
She enlightened me, as my children often do, and flipped her favorite one over to prove her point. “I like the broken ones. Then you can see what they look like on the inside.” True enough, it was beautiful. A spiral tangle of interesting colors with smaller shells hiding inside. “I already know what I’m going to make with it!”
My previous negativity washed away with the waves. You see, she doesn’t just leave the broken shells in the bowls and buckets and baskets forever. She meticulously cleans them. Then she makes them into beautiful artwork. She arranges them perfectly and then displays them for all to see.
It’s moments like those that I can feel God reaching out to me. Reminding me through the innocence of a child how much He loves us.
He says to us, “I like the broken ones.”
And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” ~Luke 5:31-32
We are not a waste of His time. He never looks at us as too broken to fix. He meets us where we are. Accepts us all.
Jesus already knows we’re broken when He picks us up. That doesn’t stop Him. But He also doesn’t stop at acceptance. The plan is not for us to stay broken sinners. He’s a fixer. A mender. A physician. A redeemer.
He offers an invitation of eternity in exchange for a new way of living.
And therein lies an important difference between us and the shells – our Artist lets us decide. Will we choose to stay right where we are, letting sin continue to break us apart? Will we continue to participate in the things that crack us, corrode us, and shove us to the bottom of the ocean?
Or will we choose to go with Him, leaving it all behind? Will we choose a new way of living?
When we say yes, He changes us into something beautiful. Not because He doesn’t love us how we are. But because He can see us for who we really are. Who we are supposed to be. Who we can become. He knows exactly what He wants to make with us.
Why stay broken, when we can become brand new?
Let’s allow Him to accept us.
Let’s allow Him to meticulously clean us.
To make us into beautiful artwork.
To arrange our souls perfectly so He can display us for all to see.
Your love will never change,
there’s healing in Your Name.
You can take broken things,
and make them beautiful.
~Ellie Holcomb, The Broken Beautiful