Brokenness lets us see where true beauty lies

February 12, 2014 | Everyday Divine

My “Soul Seeing” column, running in the current issue of the National Catholic Reporter:

If you look around my office prayer space or on my bedroom dresser, you’ll notice one constant: broken conch and whelk shells everywhere. Small and blue-gray, large and sun-bleached, twisting, turning, spiraling in that gorgeous and mysterious way that seashells do. Although I have one perfect channeled whelk shell that I purchased in Cape May, N.J., years ago, my prized possessions are broken shells of every shape and size because, as far as I’m concerned, they are far more beautiful than the ones that are perfectly intact and so lovely on the outside.

I love the way the brokenness lets you see inside, where the true beauty lies. There you discover the magnificent soft turns and intricate work of the Creator typically hidden by the outer shell, details so beautiful you would gasp if a sculptor had crafted them out of marble. Yet there they are, lying on the sand, trampled underfoot, washed ashore and pulled back out by the next tide along with tangled seaweed and discarded cigarette butts, or, every so often, tucked into the pocket of a hoodie by someone hoping for a sacred souvenir, a reminder that even some of God’s most beautiful creations are cracked and dulled and hobbled by the pounding surf of daily life. Read more HERE.



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