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Broken and beautiful

seashell broken

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.


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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. BeHonest #

    I look forward to reading your blogs… I have been
    Going through alot of unnecessary crap at the job… Trying to remain
    Humble while Guarding my tongue when people say reckless
    Things to me. This blog really hit on some things for me. And cheered me
    up some.
    Question do you know of some saints that were pretty fiesty? I came
    Across them talking about a couple on EWTN and I didn’t write
    Down the names. I want to find them and pray
    I’m trying to stay grounded in prayer but at times
    It’s still really hard…

    August 29, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      So glad some things here made you feel a little better.

      So many feisty saints it’s hard to choose! How about newly sainted Hildegard of Bingen. She was beyond feisty. St. Catherine of Siena was no slouch either. Or Dorothy Day, not canonized yet but saintly and feisty for sure. And of course St. Francis of Assisi was about as feisty and radical as they come. I think feistiness is a requirement of sainthood. Maybe some other readers will jump in with some suggestions.

      Hope to see you here again,

      August 29, 2013
  2. BeHonest #

    Thanks for the list of Saints… Hopefully more readers
    will come on w/more Saints… I will
    always visit this site cause I love the blogs…. In this
    crazy messy world Jesus is my peace… One of my
    favorite quotes… :-) Stay Blessed…

    August 29, 2013
  3. I’d never thought about seashells this way, but you’ve helped me think of them in a new light. I love the metaphor. I realized recently that I’d created my own little sacred space, too. Would it surprise you that I have a little statue of an angel reading a book there?

    September 10, 2013

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