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, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Ridgeview Baptist Celebrates 70th Anniversary On Sept. 13

Ridgeview Baptist Church, 6 North Moore Road in Chattanooga, will be observing their 70th Anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 13.  Guest speaker will be former pastor and director of Strategic Planning for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, Dr. Gary Rickman. Other events will include a theatrical production of The Brainerd Mission Project, and a dedication honoring the late Rev. ... (click for more)

All Sons And Daughters To Open Lee’s Fall U-Church Series

Lee University’s fall U-Church series will offer another diverse line-up for this fall, providing students with the opportunity to worship together in an atypical chapel format. The line-up includes All Sons and Daughters this month, Unity Dance Troupe in October, and the student-led “An Evening of Worship” in November.  Opening the season on Sept. 13 will be All Sons and ... (click for more)

Trustee To Be Appointed To Oversee Hutcheson Medical Center Bankruptcy With Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

A trustee will be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case of Hutcheson Medical Center with a focus on getting the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital sold. The U.S. Trustee's Office had filed a motion asking that the bankruptcy be dissolved due to the debt rising to $6.3 million since the bankruptcy was filed last November. However, all parties finally agreed it was ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Does The Signal Mountain Town Council Take Its Constituents As Fools?

You've got to hand it to the Signal Mountain Town Council. In their scheme to change the zoning on Signal Mountain from 1/2 an acre to 1/4 an acre they get more creative by the day in coming up with justifications for doing something a majority of their constituents are squarely against.   They started off by hiding behind a poor widow who had fallen on hard times. She had ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Ain’t A Whirlygust

I have lived in and around the State of Tennessee my entire life and I have spent that last 50 years writing words in stories every day. I love clever words, words that fit perfectly in a sentence. I also like funny words, clever phrases and all sorts of “slang” words. This week the Slate website came out with “The United Slang of America” and, naturally, I was eager to see what ... (click for more)