Broken Pieces

This year at the beach, Zachary did the inevitable,
He took notice of shells and wanted to “get them for his collection”.
It’s really one of those things that all kids eventually do, isn’t it?
Last year he hardly noticed shells,
but this year they were a focal point of our trip.
As we walked along picking up shells,
I of course was looking for the big ones, whole ones,
beautiful ones that were clean and perfect.
Zachary on the other hand could have cared less.
He picked up every little piece of a shell that he could find.
At one point I came to the realization of what I was actually verbalizing.
As we were picking up shells, 
I would acknowledge the ones he found, of course,
but then I would find a whole one and exclaim,
“Oh but look at this one, Z!  Isn’t it beautiful!”
He would answer, “Yeah, mom, it is!” and toss it in his bucket of pieces.
The realization of what I was saying and doing literally made me stop in my tracks.
For goodness sake, have I really gotten so lost in being a grown up
that I focus more on the whole and the perfect and forget
to recognize the beauty in the simple and plain and broken?
Watching Zachary’s excitement and hearing the awe in his voice
every time he found and picked up a piece of a shell
really touched my heart
and spoke truth and reality to my being.
How thankful I am that Jesus looks upon us with the excitement, awe 
and love that Z had for those shells.
 I am not perfect, not always clean and beautiful.
I try, but am not always successful.
Thankfully I am forgiven and and made new.
How often when Z is playing with friends,
do I get frustrated in his behavior. 
That he is not always nice to his friends.
That he is sometimes mean and hurtful.
That he does not always share well.
That he is sometimes crabby and selfish.
(Am I describing him or myself, seriously!)
And yet I love him all the same.
He is 4, yes, but he is also human.
So am I.
And as God continues to pick up the broken pieces of my life,
forgiving me, challenging me and loving me through it all,
I am humbled.
I am convicted.
My devotion this morning was “The Good Samaritan” story.
Oh how I have heard it so many times.
This morning the author touched on the point
that how often are we so much in a hurry that we miss the obvious right in front of us?
How often are we so focused on our life, our to-do lists and our agendas
that we walk right past what needs our attention the most.
Oh how guilty I am of this.
I do it far too often.
I want to stop.
I need to stop.
And take in all that life is handing me today,
the whole and the broken,
take it, pick it up, wipe it off and see the beauty in it all.
Dearest Jesus,
may I be always changing, always growing,
always mending.
And may the same grace and love you show to me every day,
be an active, breathing, moving way I live my life,
in relation to my own family
and all those around me.
Amen.

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