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One Tiny Brown Shell
Joy was laughing, head thrown back, enjoying the sun, sand, and surf as she walked with Clark. Clark took off, playfully daring her to catch him.
As her polished toes hit the warm sand, Joy yelped. It was only a little cry, but Clark was instantly at her side. Small drops of blood fell on the pristine sand. Her pinkie toe had brushed the sharp edge of a tiny brown shell.
Solicitous, Clark escorted her to a nearby rock, and then took off running.
As she watched, Joy’s heart kaleidoscoped with emotion. Her wounded heart made it hard to trust anyone, and she wasn’t sure yet about trusting Clark.
Returning with a wet cloth, Clark cleaned her toe, applying pressure until the bleeding stopped.
Afterward, they sat side by side, watching the glistening aquamarine water reflecting the azure sky.
Clark wondered out loud, “Where do you think that shell came from; where it started as a protector of the life entrusted to it?”
Joy thought about the deep places in the ocean and of all the predators and dangers waiting for the infinitesimal creature the shell would have held. She thought of the long journey it made to the rough sands beyond the ocean waters.
As Joy and Clark sat discussing the journey of the shell and its tiny cargo of life, she watched curiosity, sympathy, and enjoyment flicker in Clark’s dark brown eyes. Joy knew the trusting would become easier; today she’d caught a glimpse of the sterling in Clark’s soul.
~Deborah Kaye McDade~
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