Shells are proof that God loves us… July 31, 2008Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
Tags: books on shells, Carolina coasts, shells
Our hero and blog mentor, the great Doctor Franklin, once said “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Or possibly, “Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Our friend Ben has seen the quote in both versions, and knowing old Ben, I wouldn’t put it past him to have said them both. But our friend Ben begs to differ.
It is our friend Ben’s opinion that shells are the definitive argument for the existence of God, should one need to muster an argument against people too ungrateful and too unimaginative to conceive of a Creator for the beautiful world that we are privileged to share. Shells, in their myriad exquisite colors and patterns, benefit no one except us, the collectors and observers who prize their beauty and infinite variety. In life, the shape of the shell may provide real benefit to its owner, but the colors and patterns are concealed by the fleshy foot and/or mantle of the occupant, and are revealed only after its death.
Once shed of their occupants, shells are a gift to us, the appreciative observers who can marvel and wonder at so great a treasure from the sea. They are a gift and a promise from the One who made us all, a delight for us and for our Creator. He that hath eyes and ears, let him see and hear. Shells are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Shells are proof of a Creator who has shaped the world for our and our world’s Creator’s delight.
If you’re not fortunate enough to live near a beach or be visiting one, as Silence Dogood and I are this week, our friend Ben suggests that you hit the books. Museums and shell shops here on Emerald Isle, North Carolina, have proved rich troves of books on shells, but I’m sure Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders could turn up some treasures of their own. Three new finds we’d recommend are The World’s Most Beautiful Shells, which won—deservedly, in our opinion—the “Best Coffee-table Book Award” from the National Association of Independent Booksellers; Seashells, by Josie Iselin and Sandy Carlson, smaller and less spectacular but also beautiful and informative; and Seashells of the Coast, an informative, no-nonsense but attractive ID guide for those who want to shell on the Carolina coasts and know what they’re finding.