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-grey, large and sun-bleached white, twisting, turning, spiraling in that gorgeous and mysterious way that sea shells do. Although I do have one perfect channeled whelk shell, which I purchased in Cape May years ago, my prized possessions are the broken shells 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, the magnificent soft turns and intricate work of the Creator typically hidden by the outer shell. I think I love them so much because they remind me of people, broken but beautiful. Even the people who look physically perfect on the outside harbor an intricate beauty and brokenness somewhere on the inside. It’s just a factor of our humanity. We don’t get through this life whole and intact; we are meant to be broken open so eventually we can expose and embrace our inner beauty. Like my collection of scarred and shattered shells.
We are all shattered in one way or another. We are all incomplete, missing a piece here and there. But we are all beautiful. In fact, we are more beautiful because of it. Who wants polished perfection that belies the truth of what’s inside when you can have the raw power of beauty that’s broken because it has lived and loved and lost and carried on in spite of it all. Be broken and be beautiful.