October half term found us spending many hours on a cold windswept beach in Northern England. Why? Well, the answer is we were collecting sea glass! So, what is sea glass? Simply put, it is glass that has found its way into the sea. It has then been churned up, shaped and smashed by the waves, often for many years, before being washed up on a beach. 

So why the interest in sea glass? Well, for my daughter Hannah* and me it is the individual beauty of each piece. Each has different colours and shapes – essentially a beauty from its brokenness and the potential of the sea to craft it into something new. Each piece of sea glass, like every human being, is completely unique – a one off, having been shaped by the waves or, in the case of us humans, by life. We have no idea where it originated – did it come from a bottle abandoned last summer on the beach after a picnic or, more excitingly, is it waste from a Victorian glass factory? Similarly we have no idea how long it has been in the sea or how it’s been smashed continuously against rocks and the beach.

This leads me to thinking about the people I meet. I often have no idea of their backstory or what life has thrown at them. But like the sea glass, which may be smooth and polished from its time in the sea or equally still rough and jagged, I need to see the potential and beauty in each and every person. Each of us, when drawn together with other broken pieces can be made into beautiful new creations.

For me this is a picture of what God started at the first Christmas. He made us all beautiful and valuable in his sight through sending us Jesus.

Happy Advent!