Bob Tamasy: What Seashells Can Teach Us

Sunday, August 25, 2013
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you ever walked along a beach covered with seashells? An array of shapes, sizes, colors and textures, all once the dwellings of little sea creatures. Some are cracked or broken, while others have remained intact despite the crashing and smashing of waves along their journey from ocean to shore.

Most of us either just admire them or, if we want souvenirs of our days at the beach, collect a handful. We keep the most eye-appealing and toss the ones that seem less distinctive. But a friend of mine, Erika, after she and her family spent time on the beaches near Charleston, S.C., gained a new perspective from seashells, courtesy of her five-year-old son, Cole.

Upon returning home, Erika was sorting through the shells they’d gathered, deciding which to keep. After asking what his mother was doing, Cole responded, “Well, Mom, we have to keep every one because they are all beautiful and different, each and every one. We have to keep all of them!”

When her son said that, Erika realized she’d been given an epiphany from the sea. “I realized this is how Christ views each of us – beautiful and perfect, no matter our flaws, and I’m so unbelievably thankful that He does!”

We live in a world where we demonstrate partiality to the “pretty people,” along with the rich and ultra-successful. The entertainment world and broadcast media, despite feigning belief in diversity and decrying any form of discrimination, are populated with men, women and children that look good on camera. Overweight people and plain-looking folks are presented, but usually as curiosities. Certainly not as TV news anchors.

But that’s where the biblical distinctive diverges dramatically from societal norms. Comparing the family of believers to the human body, the Bible states, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor…. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it…” (1 Corinthians 12:21-24).

Recently I was talking with a guy that’s apparently an accomplished handyman. He’s always fixing things, like cars, lawnmowers, chainsaws, apparently anything that’s broken. When he asked what I do, I told him I’m a writer and editor. “Oh, I could never write anything,” he said. “Well,” I responded, “I can’t fix things. In fact, the mere thought of a leaky toilet terrifies me.” Our skills may differ, but are equally needed.

Like seashells, we’re all special in our own unique way, at least in the eyes of God. As the apostle Peter stated, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right” (Acts 10:34-35).

Colleges and non-profits show great deference to well-heeled donors. Sororities and fraternities choose members with “the right look” or the proper pedigree. Sales organizations seek out staff people that look and act a certain way, snubbing others having similar goals and ambitions, but lacking the specific criteria to qualify for “our team.”

Thankfully, as Erika pointed out, God sees each of us as beautiful and perfect, no matter our flaws. We are, as Psalm 139:14 declares, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and the Lord is our Maker. So the next time you see a seashell, remember that.


Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs,, and He can be emailed at

4th Annual Keyboards At Christmas Offered At Brainerd Baptist Church

The fourth annual Keyboards At Christmas will be offered on  Dec. 12, at 3 p.m.  and  Dec. 13, at 5 p.m. at the  Brainerd Baptist Church sanctuary. Using six grand pianos, a pipe organ, and more than a  dozen pianists, Keyboards at Christmas is a celebration  of the birth of Christ featuring traditional sacred Christmas  ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Caffeine, Coffee Cups And Christmas

So, here we are on the cusp of the Christmas season, and Starbucks is providing coffee cups in traditional red and green, but with nary a snowflake, reindeer, snowman, Santa Claus or Christmas tree. A stark red cup featuring nothing but the famous Starbucks logo in green. We all knew that in these days of “happy holidays,” this famous purveyor of all things espresso and latte ... (click for more)

Monica McMillon, 37, Shot And Killed In Alton Park On Tuesday Night

Monica McMillon, 37, was shot and killed in Alton Park on Tuesday night. The Chattanooga Police responded to the 3800 block of Highland Ave. on the report of a shooting. Once on scene police located one victim inside a residence. She  was struck by gunfire and  succumbed to her injuries on scene.   No suspect information is available at ... (click for more)

Judge Denies Motion By Walker County To Delay Closing Of Hutcheson Hospital

A bankruptcy judge in Atlanta on Tuesday denied a motion by Walker County, Ga., is asking a delay in closing Hutcheson Medical Center and laying off employees. Judge Paul Bonapfel said he appreciated the position of Walker County, but he said he would not interfere with the business decision made by the trustees appointed to operate the Fort Oglethorpe hospital. He also said ... (click for more)

A Thankful List

David Jeremiah said it best, that we have a tendency to concentrate on the things we don’t have rather than what God has already blessed us with.  Perhaps, he said, it is because there is not enough parchment available in this world to record all God’s bountiful blessings should we try to list them. This Thanksgiving let us gather our family close to us, whisper a prayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote DesJarlais Out!

There are two good bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives right now that are directly aimed at the sadistic villains who derive some sick pleasure out of torturing helpless Tennessee Walking Horses. They call it “soring,” where caustic materials are lathered into a horse’s forelegs and then wrapped in plastic so they’ll cook. Sometimes they use nails or screws ... (click for more)