2 Chronicles 7:14. The word chronicle simulates a
conch shell. A safe place—a shelter of sorts protecting the mollusk from the
rough and tumble of storm.
There has to be haven. A dwelling where her best
work is done. On the outside the organic churns in chaos and change.
Within the porcelain pink... a work of soul proportions, she nacres that priceless pearl.
As the mollusk slides cautiously outside—for she has
to leave her home at times—exposed to gather material for that interior work. She
finds a marine salty and lousy with sharks.
Other creatures swim outside the anemones grouping
among schools of likeness. They keep with their own kind, not daring to venture
off for fear of being swallowed whole. The safest place they think is in the
middle—until one morning a net gathers the league—choking them all outside of
their habitat and harvesting their flopping bodies on a slimy deck. The last of
their air-- tortured gills, venting, gasping at nothing to sustain.
G.K. Chesterton said, “A dead thing goes with the
stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”
The salmon and the conch thrive in the rough. It is where they
both find their purpose.
As the oyster, sacred and called by His name, I
repent and turn from my evil. I plead with the master of pearls for mercy on His
art. He promises to heal. He continues to polish each eventual stone in a
secret lapidary. I think and hope for His will.
“Surely Father, you hear me. May I be counted among
the last ten of the city? Surely it is your will that I change direction—that the
river runs up instead of down.”
I think I understand. Deep down I know that He allows choice. He lets us have what we want. Most keep shallow. Most wade only ankle high. In depths far towards the horizon of heaven, it’s unfamiliar.
It requires too much of the Minnow, too much of the Flounder.
There is no thwarting God’s bigger plan. Still, the mollusk
pleads and votes her preference. It’s not enough to turn the tide. Scorched and dehydrated in the sun, she crawls towards the conch, for retreat—curling inside longing for peaceful music of gently folding shores. Unassuming waves spilling onto saturated sand, along with a minority of coquinas.
Side by side, uniting—the prayer shell dwellers.