Walking along the beach, she noticed a seashell in the sand. Instinctively, she stooped to pick it up. She rubbed her fingers along its smooth white surface. She inspected its shape.
Then she saw another. And another.
Soon, she had collected 10, then 20. Minutes later, her bucket was half full.
She stopped and looked around her. The seashells were everywhere. They were too numerous to count. Too plentiful to collect. Yet, each one unique. Each one calling us to pick it up.
We were on Sanibel Island, home to more seashells than most other beaches in the world. As the waves washed onto the shore, they left piles of shells. Large shells. Small shells. Crushed shells that had been battered by the waves.
The sand was covered with shells. In fact, the white sand itself seemed to be made of the tiny remains of crushed shells.
We had to change our focus. We searched for only the most unusual. The ones with the most beautiful shape. Those with striking colors.
We sorted through the shells looking for the conches. The lightning whelk shells. The brown cockle shells. The blended tulip shells. The sand dollars. We separated those into our bucket of “special” shells.
Finally, it was time to leave the beach. We tried to walk along without staring at the sand. “Don’t pick up anymore shells,” I instructed.
We had more than we could carry. More shells than we could ever take home. But who could resist? Just one more. We couldn’t stop admiring their beauty.
And we thought of their Maker. The one who had filled the sea with more creatures than we could imagine. Each one different from the others. Each one unique. Too numerous to count. And yet He knows them all.