Sometimes God speaks to me in the most unexpected ways if I have the eyes to see and the heart to listen…
We spent four days at my husband's sister and brother-in-laws cottage on Lake Erie…a quiet getaway for a few days. A time to relax, no phones, no demands and no work. Just sitting quietly and resting isn't the easiest thing for me to do…I'm one who most often has to be doing something but here was a time to do nothing.
I read the book "one thousand gifts," by Ann VosKamp…a really good book. It challenges you to live each day with a grateful heart towards God despite circumstances. To see the gifts of each day no matter how big or small and no matter where you find yourself. Of course it did take me four days to finish it because I would keep getting distracted by the beauty around me and would have to grab my camera and take some shots…which is relaxing to me too.
I loved the sound of the waves as they came rolling into shore…it's such a calming sound especially to fall asleep to. One night a storm blew through and the wind howled and the waves crashed that shore with such power. And with the waves comes the stirring of the lake bottom and deposits of rocks and other things are placed upon the shore.
Each day we walked the beach, it's not a long beach but I loved looking at all the different stones and also searching for beach glass…glass pieces from old bottles, glassware, possible ship wrecks, etc. that had been tumbling on the lake bottom among the stones and smoothed over time to create these little jewels of glass with frosted colour and smoothed edges.
So each time we walked we collected bits of this beach glass…I had said to my husband how I would love to find a piece of red beach glass…but I didn't even know if it existed because I couldn't really think of any bottles made from red glass. As we walked we found pieces of colbalt blue, brown, white, a beautiful aqua and shades of green but no red. It was like a treasure hunt searching for these glass pieces…I love treasure hunting but what exactly is a treasure...
When I was younger I was walking on the banks of the Grand River and I found an old coin…that was a treasure to me. Special and unusual things are treasures…finding fossils, strange and beautiful rocks. Actually the first time I went down to the beach I found this old horse tooth…I kept it…not the most beautiful treasure but I wondered where it came from and how old it was…what was the story behind it. I said to my husband a ship from the eighteen hundreds was shipping horses and it captsized and all these horses were lost and that's where the tooth came from ;-) But I will never really know.
On the last night of our stay my husband and I went for one last walk along the beach…searching again for beach glass…I think I had given up hopes of finding any red beach glass…like I said I didn't even know if it existed. Yet in my heart I still quietly hoped to find one. We had walked one end to the other and my husband headed back up to the cottage, I lingered a bit more…searching and then as I was heading back up there laying in my path was a shimmer of red. I bent down to pick it up…red beach glass and in the shape of a tiny heart. I was overjoyed, thrilled and so blessed to have found this small piece, I ran up and told my husband like some excited child who had found the greatest treasure.
Maybe that seems strange, odd that a woman of 43 would get so excited about a tiny piece of glass, broken off from who knows what, tumbling in the lake for who knows how long…yet to me it was the most special of treasures…a tiny heart shaped piece of red glass…
I saw God in this…He saw me…He knew my heart…He wanted to touch my heart. He knew that hope that was in my heart to find this special piece of glass and He gave me what I had been searching for…at the last possible moment and I was blessed tremendously.
After finding this tiny treasure that I had been looking for I searched red beach glass online and here are some facts that I found…
…"The rarest colour of beach glass is red. In order to produce a rich shade of red, a historical glass manufacturer had to use gold as the key colorant."
…"Red is the hope diamond of beach glass and will make any beach glass lovers week or year."
…"Some of the areas that red beach glass originated from are old hurricane lamps (lanterns and nautical lights), tableware and red glass taillights prior to the 50’s."
…"Red beach glass is almost as rare as it gets. Only one shard in thousands might be red. Even avid searchers might look a lifetime and not find a piece in this hue, so discovering one is pretty special."
What I had found was rare…was special and it spoke volumes of God's love for me. I had only searched for four days and only with a walk up and down the beach each time. Others search a lifetime and may never come across a treasure such as I had found.
And so I've thought about this tiny red heart, trying to understand all that God would have me understand and yet maybe it's not so complicated. I think what He is saying is "Tina…I see you, I love you, though there be billions on this planet, though at times you feel lost in this world in the tiny place I have given you…I…the God of the universe…the God who created it all…see you in a sea of billions and I know your name!
And that's what He would say to each one of us, I see you, I know you, you are a somebody and you are mine…will you let Me be yours? His love is greater than we'll ever know or understand…it is the greatest treasure...may you find it...
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand."
Psalm 139:13 - 18