My Sunday Sanctuary: Seashells

My friend Randy shared this beautiful video on Facebook yesterday.

“Creation Calls” has always been one of my favorite songs. We used to sing it at our previous church. I miss that.

“How could I say there is no God,

When all around creation calls?

A singing bird, a mighty tree,

The vast expanse of open sea.”

This song came to mind last week as I worked on a freelance article about Hawaiian seashells. I’d never really thought much about seashells before. They were pretty things littered on the beach, and that’s about it. I have a jar of them in the boys’ bathroom, which is decorated in a retro-Hawaiian surfer theme. It’s just a jar of pieces we’ve collected on vacation through the years, and aside from one or two unusual ones, it’s mostly full of flat, ivory-colored fan-shaped shells.

I was amazed when I saw the wide variety of shells native to Hawaii. There are huge Triton shells used as trumpets and colorful, rare, thumbnail-sized Sunrise shells that used to be worn only by Hawaiian royalty and now can sell for hundreds of dollars apiece.

On the tiny,  sparsely populated island of Ni’ihau, teensy pearlescent shells as small as 3 mm are collected by families to make necklaces so valuable, they’re the only shell jewelry that can be insured like gemstones. It can take a year for an entire family to collect enough Ni’ihau shells to fill a baby food jar.

Hawaiian cone shells come in dozens of sizes and colors, some adorned with perfectly-spaced dots and others with intricate patterns resembling handmade lace.

I think it takes more faith to believe that kind of precise beauty “just happened” than to believe that it’s the handiwork of a Master Designer.

I felt awed to think of how Hawaiian seashells are just one little drop in the bucket of all creation, yet God embellished them so beautifully, despite knowing that most people throughout history would never see them. And then repeated that around the globe, hiding amazingly beautiful, complex creatures in every little corner of the world, like treasures for his beloved people to find. I think he smiles when we discover them.

“Listening to a river run,

Watering the earth.

Fragrance of a rose in bloom,

A newborns cry at birth.”

I believe.