As I walked along the beach the other day, found myself resorting to a childhood pastime - picking up and collecting shells
But, I did more than just pick them up, I began looking closely at them, and feeling their texture. Some, like this delicately shaded pink one, were so smooth to the touch whilst others, like this collection of them, had a ridged feel, and a crinkly edge.
And, what struck me even more, was the fact that they were all different. No two were alike.
A bit futher along the sand, I came across these larger shells. At first I thought they were pebbles, but they caught my eye because they were almost glittering as the sunlight caught them. I picked one up and studied it. It was quite thick and heavy and you could almost see the age of it, but the layers of the shell.
And, it set me thinking - how like the shells we are - all different, all with our own characteristics, yet all part of the community and the world.
How many grains of sand were there on that beach? Far too many to even begin to count, and a verse of one of my favourite hymns came to me
We thank thee Lord, for sunshine, dew and rain,
Broadcast from heaven by think almighty hand
Source of all life, unnumbered as the sand,
bird, beast and fish, herb, fruit and golden grain.