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Brokenness lets us see where true beauty lies

Shells

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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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Walter Ayres #

    Thank for a truly wonderful article, which I immediately shared with my daughters.

    February 13, 2014
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you!

      February 13, 2014
  2. Wow! Beautiful insight, Mary! Thank you.

    February 14, 2014
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you!

      February 14, 2014
  3. There is a magazine called Violet Flame that is about to come out, which focuses on Soul Connections, and speaks exactly to this subject. We invite you to check it out. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/violet-flame-magazine-print-edition

    February 17, 2014
  4. I love the way the brokenness lets you see inside. This was powerful all by itself and a perfect depiction of where I am right now. I loved that and intend to expound on it in the very near future. Thank you for this.

    February 18, 2014
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you! Come back and post a link if you write on the topic. :-)

      February 18, 2014
  5. John Logan #

    Your contact forms aren’t working – fatal error keeps coming up. Can you please e-mail me?

    February 24, 2014
  6. Camy #

    Thank you for the wonderful article published in NCR, oh those broken shells. Many years ago I was collecting shells on the Cape May NJ beach and had the same aha moment. I stopped looking for the perfect shell and began to cherish the broken ones. We are using your piece for our prayer group tomorrow. Write on!

    March 13, 2014
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you! You just made my night. :-)
      I will pray for you and your prayer group tomorrow.
      Peace,
      Mary

      March 13, 2014

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