This shell is open, its occupant gone. It lies on the beach, washed by the waves, tumbled on the rocks, caressed by the wind.
Tightly closed it is stronger, less vulnerable to being crushed or chipped. But it lies open, its opalescent aubergine interior visible to all. Closed, its beauty is hidden from the world. I wouldn't have taken a second look, would not have stooped to examine the perfectly formed halves, the swirls of colour, had it not been open.
Is there a lesson in this shell for me? I think I weep too easily. I laugh with equal readiness. Emotions expose my vulnerability. Sometimes I want to close myself up tightly from the world, holding my hurt and my joys to myself, not willing to share. But there is beauty in the life I've lived, beauty because of God's presence. Keeping myself closed hides the work God does, the beauty He is creating in my life.
And so, even though it's uncomfortable, even painful at times, I want to be open, even vulnerable to what life has to offer. There's a lot of joy in our family just now, and a lot of sorrow on varying levels. Balancing the two is difficult. But through it all, the light and the dark, God is creating beauty.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time."