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Humans Made of Sand

One day when I was walking along a deserted beach, I stopped and felt the sand beneath my feet. Looking into the distance I saw the enormous mass of sand that made up the shoreline. I lay down on the sand and looked closely at it.

In my daze, I was turned into a grain of sand, and lay there on the beach. After some time as a sand grain, I knew my days could be characterised by either long exhausting hours lying in the hot sun, or the comforting luxury of being washed by the ocean along the shoreline.

One day I asked of my fellow grains of sand if there was any life other than being washed up and down the beach or laying in the sun? In response, some spoke of life at the bottom of a tree or beneath grass. Others spoke of life under a piece of seaweed or a shell that had been washed upon the shore. Others still talked of being walked on by humans or being covered by a towel. Their lives featured countless adventures and experiences.

Every grain I spoke with had seen a separate life, yet none of them spoke of the ocean. Is this all there was? It seemed, that life as a grain of sand was rather un-fulfilling. It reminded me sadly of my life as a human. As a human I had felt that I was different from any other and had my lot in life, but I was empty.

Weeks passed, time was spent in the sun and being washed by the cool waters of the ocean. I decided that I needed more, more than a simple role, insignificant and really quite worthless amongst so many others on the beach, a pointless life.

It was during a huge storm that I heard my calling. The ocean roared and the waves crashed, there was fear all around. No one wanted to be dragged out to sea. Many were unwillingly, but I was the first to go. I let the sea carry me, drawing me out, further and further out into its depths.

Alone I wandered for what seemed a lifetime, drifting around and around, until that one day I settled upon an oyster. I had never known of oysters until that day. So I talked to the oyster and it told me of the ocean, of the many wonderful things you could see and do. What fun you could have. Then, the oyster asked me something amazing, it said `I have told you of the wonders of the ocean they are there for you to explore, but I can offer you a life that is beyond wonder. Something that will fill your emptiness and make you whole.' The oyster said, `follow me, live your life as my life, inside me. If you give your life to me, I promise you all the riches of the world and a love that will fill you heart forever.'

So I believed in the oyster and yearned for this wholeness that it spoke of. Inside the oyster I went and found my place resting on its beautiful shell wall. I had given my life to the oyster, and in return it coated me in love. Again and again, it coated me with its pretty walls. After a life none of the beach sands would ever know, being continuously coated by the oyster, I had developed into a beautiful pearl.

The oyster then told me of a day that would come soon, when a human would come for me. The oyster, having given me so much, would have to lay down its life and die for me, so that the human could take me away and present me to the world. When that day came, I was sad for the oyster. I was taken from the oyster and was now a real pearl.

A pearl to be looked upon by many, adored and sought after jealously. I was so precious, and so beautiful, and that is exactly what I let the world know. What the oyster had given me allowed me to shine for the world and finally I had my purpose - sharing my beauty with the world.

Then I became human again. I stood upon the beach and looked out to sea, to where my home had been. To be alive was different now, as a human, I still knew that love the oyster had shown me and realised just why it had given its life for me. As a human, I was no longer just another countless grain of sand upon an endless beach. I walked back into the world, in small ways and in large ways I gave to people the love the oyster had given me.

Dominic Mapstone

'We are put on earth just a little space
that we learn to bear the beams of love
and once having been loved we give the love away.'

William Blake

 • Links to other Catholic Youth Ministry programs.

 • Our Youth Ministry Resources and gospel reflections.

 • Rebeccas Community Youth Ministry Programs.

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Dominic Mapstone B.Soc.Wk
Rebeccas Community

In Christ's love we strive to:
Accept their individuality,
Believe in their worth,
Hope for their future, and
Love them where they are.