In 2014, on a beach, the waves keep pushing shell pieces to the water’s edge– big and little shell pieces. Nobody wanted them. Most beachcombers had ceased to even search for there was so little hope of collecting whole shells. They only wanted the easy to find whole-shells. The waves, though, kept pulling and hurling them into the beach – some shells recognizable, most not. As though the Holy Spirit waters were throwing the lost onto the beach for saving.
Today, February 2021, another beach, another shell graveyard: lost, forgotten, broken in big ways, some in little, some seemingly too small for even an ocean to care whether it lived in its deep or was thrown onto a shore to be crushed by the weight of a bunch of little shells and shards nobody cared about. Seven years later – seven years more years of the Holy Spirit waters bringing the broken out of the deep, bringing to us to save.
. . . and there were so many pieces, broken shells as seemingly useless as dry bones – and as seemingly impossible to redeem and restore. Seven years ago, I thought there were so many. Today, there were piles and piles, like burial mounds on a shore.
I’d never seen so many shells.
Each piece like a broken soul.
a broken soul desperate to be saved
though the soul didn’t know
saving was needed
didn’t know it could be redeemed
didn’t know there was life beyond
the graveyard of the broken and the abandoned
because no-one had come to save
that which needed saving.
Yet how do the broken fragments
of a soul
who recognize not
the force of the Holy Spirit
how do they know
God has life plans
of wholeness in Him
if there’s no one to pick them up
if the beachcombers only see
and walk onward
only wanting whole
“Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” ~ Ezekiel 37: 4-6
These broken pieces and parts of shells – all these represent the broken in the world, the lost, the rejected who live a step away, in the community where we are born, grow and die, in a world of similar communities.
“I keep bringing them up for you to see,” He says, “for the world to see but my children just walk right by them, judging them beyond redemption, beyond wholeness – on your own shores. Not just one shore – not just one community. Every community. Every shore.”
“Hurry! Hurry! Come help save them”
as would cry the Captain of the Titanic
if he could have pulled his passengers ashore
one hand pushing shoreward, the other hand reaching
to save more
counting on the beachcombers
to revive and breathe life
into those which he strives
“So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.” ~ Ezekiel 37: 4-10
Unredeemable broken mess
if the fixing were left to me
that’s what it looks like
so many. . . so many broken to pieces
“My soul-combing child,” He said,
“Just need to reach out
to pick them up
let your story be a letter
show-casing my credentials
my credentials as
God Elohim, mighty and strong, who created you, is able to save you
Almighty God El Shaddai who wants to be all-sufficient to ALL your needs
Adonai, a worthy master over your destiny
who as Jehovah-Jireh foresees every challenge you will face, every choice, whether good or bad, and provides a way back home
where as Jehovah-Rophe welcomes you,
wraps you in both his arms and heals your wounds,
both self-inflicted and inflicted by others
and as you heal in the shadow of His presence
Jehovah-M’Kaddesh will sanctify you, make you pure and whole in His sight
until, finally, you find peace in the presence of Jehovah-Shalom
the answer to a prayer fulfilled, made whole,
perfected with the mighty strength He put within you. . .
. . . just let the Holy Spirit push them to you
pick them up
all my soulcombers
pick them up
introduce them to me,
even if you think they ought to already
even if you think they don’t deserve
to know me
introduce me – that’s all I need you to do
so that I can make them whole,
so that I can breathe life into their dry bones.”
“Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.” ~ Ezekiel 37: 11-14
In 2014, I prayed asking God to show me how to live this soulcombing message. Those broken shells – friends, there are so many more than in 2014. Too many still don’t know God as a dear friend, a loving father, a mighty King who not only fights for them but desires for them to sit at His table and to know Him better. Too many are lost lambs – grown up in the church and wandered off. How can I better find them, bring them home? I hear your call, Father, to save the hard to save, the rebels, the ones that seems so broken and worthless – like the broken chips and shell shards on the beach, the ones lost beneath the weight of the lost. Open the graveyard of their hearts Father. Raise the lost from their man-made graves. Open their ears and eyes to hear and see You, Father – both the lost and soulcombers. You say you have spoken. You say you will bring life to the dead, to the lost – as lost as dead bones, as lost as broken, irreparable messes. Open my eyes, Father, that I may see how to be an effective, fervent soulcomber for you! Father Jesus said if we ask in His name, it will be done. I’m asking! Thank you for always being faithful, for never abandoning or forsaking us! Amen!
Remember Me Monday: #31 & Linky
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
***All photos marked with Muddy Photography or © Blue Cotton Memory or used within Blue Cotton Memory blog(s) belong Blue Cotton Memory. Going forward, photos will be marked with Muddy Photography.