Sand Dollars and People

sand dollarOn a beach stroll during our annual trip to Georgia’s Jewel, Jekyll Island, we happened to catch the water at low tide. For those who like to find treasure this is the most opportune time! During high tide the sea’s treasure chest is carried to shore and tilted letting some of its most prized treasures spill out. Abandoned too far on the beach to retreat, they become exposed as the water returns to its low for the day.

Of course, we were strolling with eyes down searching for something, anything that caught our eye. Shell bits, crab parts, mussels, and jellyfish, we saw all the usual suspects. But we all silently wanted to be the one to find the sand dollar. At first there were broken bits and pieces, and then more. We discovered a band of debris that offered more and larger bits than the other areas. That’s when it happened. I have never found a whole sand dollar on the beach before – until that day. There it was, partially buried in the sand. I wasn’t sure at first if it was whole, but a careful excavation revealed the prize, a small but unbroken sand dollar!

We marveled at it and all took a close look. We talked about how amazing it was and fathomed its age and journey. It was a magical family moment, perhaps the highlight of the week, and I cherished the time together. I began to ponder the gift of creation and God’s creative design for us all.

In a way, we are all like sand dollars; carefully crafted for a special purpose out of God’s immense and limitless love. We are all created whole but most end up broken in some way. My daughter saw the beauty in the broken pieces and collected many of them. We discussed how people are not unlike the broken sand dollars and should be treated with similar care. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything!

I have never heard of The Legend of the Sand Dollar but discovered it while researching them later that night. Here is what I found:

Sand Dollar Doves

The Legend of the Sand Dollar

There’s a lovely little legend
That I would like to tell,
Of the birth and death of Jesus
Found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely
You’ll see that you find here,
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman’s spear.

On one side the Easter Lily,
Its center is the star,
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
Etched on the other side,
Reminds us of His birthday
Our happy Christmastide.

Now break the center open
And here you will release,
The five white doves awaiting
To spread Good Will and Peace.

This simple little symbol
Christ left for you and me,
To help us spread His Gospel
Through all Eternity.

May we all seize every opportunity to reflect upon the greatness of God’s creation and share it with the world!

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