Friends came for dinner last night and bought me a piece of handmade jewelry. The pin is formed of overlapping pieces of shell glued to create a design as rhythmical as the surf, as revealing as the sand shore. Different shells capture the light in varying ways, catching and holding, reflecting, or framing a small pearl set in a tiny shell at the pin’s center. Even holes drilled by predators become part of the design. If I had seen these broken pieces of shell on the shore, I would have been blind to their beauty, but in the hands of my talented friend, their loveliness is revealed. Perhaps God’s church is like this pin, broken pieces of shell gathered and amalgamated to form a beautiful whole Each piece, with it own separate gifts combines to form a unified whole, reinforcing where there is weakness, strengthening where there is need, celebrating when there is victory. Even holes, pierced by the pain of living, become part of the design, allowing pieces to come together. Thank you, Lord, for this reminder that our brokenness is perfected in your presence, made beautiful though your touch. Amen.