My friend grew up knowing God had placed a call, you might say a deep yearning, for service. When the time came, my friend answered the call and was met with some life circumstances that would have crushed many of us. During the long journey back from those rather dark times, my friend was walking along a beach reflecting on life and asked our Father to provide a conch shell as a symbol that he was listening and knew the depth of my friend's pain.
Conch shells along the Atlantic coast do show up, but they are very often chipped and broken ... much like my friend felt at the darkest times. Coming across a perfectly formed one still in tact "in the wild" is a rare thing, especially one the size of that in the picture above. Yet our Father heard this deep, groaning for a simple but very special gift and you can see the results - one perfect conch shell.
My friend's life has taken many twists and turns to this point, but the latest adventure starts with six weeks helping out others on the other side of the Atlantic from where the first shell was given. That brings us to the second shell. It was recently acquired thousands of miles away from a man who had a bag full of them. My friend selected the one on right and, in that very moment, heard the Father laugh with delight to bring things full circle.
We all have our tales of "two conch shells" and the journeys that lead us to encounter them. Too often, we are in such deep pain or so self-absorbed that we don't look for those little miracles that our Father loves to place in our paths. We miss the miracle of the ordinary which, in cases like my friends, has very extraordinary results. We miss it because we don't look for it, we don't have time for it, and we often don't believe it exists. Yet it does! The proof is in the picture above.
The Crooked Path winds through life's ups and downs in a unique way for each of us. As you travel your own version, don't forget that you have a Father who delights in you. Ask him for a "perfect conch shell" and see what he provides. He is the Giver of all good gifts like my friend's two conch shells. Then see how he takes that simple beauty and multiplies it to lift you up and so you can help point others to him.