One of my all time favorite pastimes is shelling. You meet all kinds of people combing the beach. Most are looking for the obvious, the big shell sitting at the surf’s edge. But, shells are like children … you have to look for the not so obvious in them and dig a little deeper to reveal the true treasures. There are some areas on the beach that wash in ‘coffee dregs’, bits and pieces of grasses that are broken up and resemble coffee grinds. Amongst this ‘dirt’ I find my favorite treasure, the Angulated Wentletrap. My husband had several of the ones I have collected added to a chain.
Tiny and bright white, they go unnoticed by the casual beach comber. Yet God detailed them perfectly with their spiral and twisting form. When people see them on my necklace they find them beautiful like pearls. Yet most people ignore their beauty as they walk on them at the beach.
A similar find is the Angel Wings which are bivalve mollusc similar to a clam. Occasionally washed ashore, they are usually found while digging and can be as much as 3 feet deep in mud and clay. They are very fragile, yet with correct handling are a true treasure.
Children are many times like these shoreline treasures. Small and lost in the dirt of the world, unnoticed by so many walking around them; you must pick them up and clean them, care for them, and treasure them. Some are mired deep in ‘mud’ and need careful handling and care. All produce treasures to behold. Time, patience and love for what you are doing produce the most valued of all treasures. Go slowly, take the time.
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (This is a proverb – not a promise – they still have free will – you are responsible for training them and giving them the tools to make good choices.)