In many of the island shops, there are bins and baskets of seashells, beautiful specimens, most collected elsewhere, shipped here, and offered for sale.  I examine them carefully, noting they are sometimes much larger and more perfect than the shells I find on this island beach.  But then I wonder—is the shell really separate from the experience and joy I felt when I discovered it?  When I brought it home and displayed it proudly?  I wonder about faith too.  I pray that those whom I love will come to believe, but I know too that the discovery of faith, like the discovery of a shell, is a personal commitment and can’t be made on behalf of another.  I can’t buy faith for them, nor can I believe for them.  I pray, Lord, that those who have not yet accepted your place in their lives may make that perfect discovery, and come to know the joy of belief. Amen.

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