Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Heart Held in the Hand

Scattered around the Internet are stories about heart-shaped stones and other gifts from God. Naturally, there's a debate about these really being a gift from God. Who am I to criticize? I've seen God's creativity in communication and have know many people inspired by cross-shaped tree twigs and heart-shaped stones. God is the giver of good gifts. Jesus said the very stones would cry out if no one else did.

I've never looked for one of these. I recognize God's hand in many things. Maybe no one looks for them, but they happen anyway.

I was walking home today, ambling along the sunny beach. Yesterday a storm had come through and the surf was still turbulent and strong. The beach had eroded somewhat; sand comes and goes as currents change with the seasonal weather. Stones come and go on this beach. Sometimes it's just sand, other times there are many pebbles. Pretty and interesting ones I pick up to send to a friend of mine who's a painter, the ElsieART LLC Still Life Kit.

Today's supply of pebbles was thin, but interesting. I picked up a nice black one, and then a larger mottled one, and then an old and battered clam shell that had been rattling around for a long time and had very interesting textures. I saw one that was of an interesting color, with some kind of line across it. I picked it up, rinsed it off in the backwash of a wave--one of the many advantages of wearing sandals--and took a closer look. Yellowed tan, with black flecks included, and the cemented-sand tube that used to be a worm's home. And then the curves and bumps came together in my mind's eye, and I had to laugh. A heart-shaped stone. Complete with aorta, sorta.

Then I realized it's Valentine's Day. I laughed again. Our subtle God, being just completely over the top, silly and loving all at once.

The final touch came when I looked again at this little gift. The worm's tube was very fragile and would never survive the trip home in a pocket. I'd have to carry it in my hand.

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