Posted by: bellissimanh | September 3, 2009

Smashing Seagulls

No, it’s not the title of some metal band.

In my last post, I talked about our trip out to Sea Glass Island, and at the beauty found in the stillness of that morning. It was amazing.

There was something else that really struck me that day. Once we reached the island, the ground was crunchy beneath our feet. Each step we took landed on brittle shards of smashed clam shells. We got used to the sound (and the smell) after a bit, but it was a very unique combination. My friend Mindy explained that the seagulls would swoop in, snatch up clams in their beaks, and then rise high enough to drop them onto the rocks. Once the shells were smashed on the rocks, the gulls would dive back in and gather the meat of the clam.

Can I just tell you that there are seasons in my life when I feel as if I’ve been completely smashed upon the rocks? I feel broken — shattered, really. It’s as though I was just going along, minding my own business, and all of a sudden I’ve been caught up by something I never even saw coming… and almost immediately it feels as if the bottom has dropped out and I’m freefalling — plummeting in a swirl of emotions. Fear, anxiety, hopelessness, sadness, anger, uncertainty… these all seem to taunt me. They hiss at me, trying to steal my faith and confidence in the One who holds me in His hands.

But here’s the thing. The seagulls know the exact height those clams need to be dropped from to get to the good stuff… the heart of the clam. Too high and the clam would be smashed to smithereens – completely useless to them. Too low and the speed and force with with it hits the rocks wouldn’t be enough to open the shell, revealing what’s inside.

God knows exactly what it will take to get to my heart. He knows exactly how far I need to fall to end up in the place He needs me to be. He will not smash me to smithereens on the rocks… but He WILL use as much pressure and time as is necessary to bring me to the point of bringing forth a broken hallelujah… to a point of placing my trust completely in HIM.

Isaiah 61:1 says, “He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted.”  The Father sent the Son, to be the healing balm for us. “Broken” in that verse is “shavar”, and it means literally “to burst, break into pieces, wreck, crush, smash; to rend, tear in pieces (like a wild beast)”. That’s certainly how my heart feels sometimes — like it’s been torn in two.

But Jesus… He has come to “bind up” the broken. The word for “bind up” is chavash, meaning “to bind on, wrap around; bind up as a wound, bandage, cover, envelop, enclose.” Strong’s Dictionary adds a visual definition to the same word: “to compress,…to stop.” Here’s what Beth Moore has to say about this:

Compressing the hemorrhaging heart is the idea of applying pressure to a badly bleeding wound. What a wonderful picture of Christ! A crushing hurt comes, and the sympathizing, scarred hand of Christ presses the wound; and for just a moment, the pain seems to intensify…but finally the bleeding stops. Are you beginning to see the intimate activity of Christ when we’re devastated? And to think, this is the same One we accuse of not caring when the crushing moment occurs.

Are you there? Reach out to the One who can heal your broken heart. I have found Him ever faithful. You will too.



  1. Heather,

    What an amazing post!! You captured perfectly what Christ allows in our lives. I love the imagery and the quote. I can very much identify with feeling like I’ve been jerked up and then dropped. Thanks for bringing us such a thought provoking post.

  2. Wow… what a great illustration. Thanks so much for sharing that!

  3. What an awesome illustration! Thank you for sharing a great message Heather!

  4. Great post! I never heard of the smashing seagulls but it really illustrates this well!

  5. LOVE the ocean and all of lifes lessons that can be learned there. The smashing of the clam shells is new to me, the broken heart – not so much. God has used my brokenness over a situation more than once to bring about His purpose in my life.
    Blessings ~ Lisa

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