Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Parable of Glass Beach

Our first stop after we got to Texada was to find a geocache called "Glass Beach." After reading the cache page we learned that this site, on the northern tip of the island, was previously an old dump site used by the residents of Texada for many generations. The area has now been reclaimed by nature but since then the most wonderful little thing has happened.

I guess, many, many years ago, there were a lot of glass items dumped here. Old pop & beer bottles, noxema jars and even china was deposited here when it was no longer useful. Now add to this the continuous action of the waves and you can imagine what has happened. The entire beach is strewn with brilliantly coloured "pebbles." Beer bottle amber, noxema jar brilliant blue, 7up green... they are all there. Over the years the waves have worn them smooth, no jagged edges or sharp points anymore. It is really something beautiful to see.

What I love most about this story, though, is how some of the islanders have discovered these "pebbles" and seen the potential of it. They scour Glass Beach for the right shapes, sizes and colours (apparently blue is the most sought after) and turn them into works of art. What was once discarded and worthless is now searched out and of value.

I loved going to Glass Beach. Probably because it was an unexpected surprise that gave me a lot to think about. I love my life but it has not turned out exactly as I imagined it would and there are times when I've felt like I've been hit like that glass, tumbling in the waves, again and again and again. What was ugly can become beautiful, what was useless can be made useful, what was sharp and hurtful can become smooth and soothing, what was once considered worthless becomes worthy. We were standing in the middle of a wonderful, moving object lesson.

No wonder Jesus taught in parables.

If you'd like to see some beautiful examples of beach glass art click here.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Beach

Tony and I just spent four wonderful days on Texada Island. We rented a little cabin by the beach... far, far away from life, work and reality. One morning I went for a walk along the beach. The wind storm from the night before had died down and the morning by the bay was blissfully quiet. I sat on a piece of driftwood, the only person along this stretch and closed my eyes.

I had been told what to expect but still I was so amazed at what I heard. In the quiet of that morning I heard the beach's song.

Did God, when He created this earth, say to himself, "Let's make this beach special. It will be a gift to those who take the time to listen?" The beach, you see, is made up entirely of tiny pea size pebbles. Worn smooth by time, they move with the waves and every time a wave rolls away the pebbles make the most musical sound, like wooden wind chimes in the breeze.

Then God and I had a wonderful little talk and I said thanks for the song on the beach.

I couldn't keep from smiling.