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

Thankful Missionary Baptist Church To Have Reunion Concert Oct. 17

Elder Oscar L. Lockhart, Sr., is retiring as pastor of Thankful Missionary Baptist Church at the end of the year after 35 years of faithful service. As part of Pastor Lockhart’s retirement celebration activities, there will be a Thankful Reunion Choir Concert on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. The concert will take place at the church at 980 N. Orchard Knob Ave., and will feature ... (click for more)

"Forgetting Who God Is" Is Topic At Middle Valley COG On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, 'Forgetting Who God Is' in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  This is part of a series of messages from his 'Living Where We Are' series.  Pastor McClure will lead the congregation in a time of water baptism and worship in the 6:30 p.m. service on Sunday. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Attorney Patrick Says Chattanooga Is "Most Logical Place" For Consolidating Volkswagen Lawsuits; Hearing Set Dec. 3

Attorney Gary Patrick said Chattanooga is "the most logical place for consolidating the Volkswagen litigation because it is the only location in the country where VW vehicles are being produced." Attorney Patrick, of the local firm of Patrick, Beard, Schulman and Jacoway, said a hearing is set Dec. 3 in New Orleans on the issue. A host of lawsuits seeking class action status ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured; Suspect Being Interviewed

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located Angel Evans, 33, deceased. She was stabbed multiple times. A second person, Gerald Nelson, 24, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffle bag full of automatic attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)