Being a part of the Little Pink family, you are uniquely loved and cared for long after your retreat. The letter below was written about Little Pink’s IT Director, Amy Matthews, by her father Leon. This is a poignant example of the deep love, prayers, and connection that comes when you are touched by a Little Pink Retreat. Little Pink is lucky that we have staff members like Amy who care so deeply and give so much.
Today, June 25th 2016, I saw God thru the amazing works of a human being. This was not just any human, it was my daughter.
You could see the amazing effect on my daughter and I could only imagine the effects on the lives of those being Blessed by God’s Word and God’s Work.
Upon reflection, I was so struck by what was happening that I could only stand silently to witness God’s Love and Grace. She methodically continued as I stood close by as tears of joy and emotion continued to swell from my eyes.
My daughter was filling small clear bottles with white sand from the beautiful beach at Oak Island in North Carolina. She asked me to select some shells to place in the bottles. Her instructions were clear. Select the shells that had washed up on the shore. She did not want the shells that are attracted and selected by the masses that walk on this beach so they could proudly display them on a table or mantel for others to view and admire the beauty and perfection in nature. Rather she requested shells that were broken, had blemishes, some had been crushed by the footsteps of those on the beach and all had once served its purpose in ocean life through the mighty storms of wind, water, and the constant pounding of the surf. I thought this was an unusual thing to do, but it had captured my attention, so I carefully selected the shells. I thought they were being selected because the larger more perfect shells just would not fit the opening in the small clear bottles, which were smaller than the soda drink bottles of which I had some knowledge. I was still curious and had to ask the question on my mind, “WHY”?
That question sparked a most powerful message of Faith and Hope, and an amazing display of Love for others. The beauty of God’s message was on full display in the actions of my daughter, and her sister and mother who had joined her; they each were on bended knee in the white sand. For each bottle, there must have been more than a dozen, was filled with white sand and broken shells. She then raised each bottle upwards to the sky as she described the life of the lady who would receive this bottle. These ladies were being lifted up to God, a petition for the life and needs of each recipient. They were all breast cancer patients that had participated in Little Pink Houses of Hope Retreats at the beach.
My daughter was very focused and driven by the love for these women and for their powerful individual messages of life, family, faith, for their common stories, and for their uniqueness of needs. They each had compelling stories of how their battle had shaped and molded them. They each had experienced many events that made their life more precious and meaningful as they focused on Family, Faith, Hope and Love.
The answer to my question “Why broken shells”:
“Broken shells are shells that have been tested … and tried … and hurt …
Yet they don’t quit,
They continue to be.
Thank you Lord for the great strength it takes…
Simply to be.
Even when I hurt so deeply that there seems to be nothing left of me …”
“My Beautiful Broken Shell”
By Carol Hamblet