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The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Like A Sand Dollar

sand dollar

Last Thanksgiving, my family took a wonderful trip to San Diego. We stayed in a hotel right by the beach, and almost every day we were there, we were exploring the sandy shores. The weather was beautiful – sunny and warm – and although the water was too cold to get into the ocean, we had plenty of fun on the beach.

One of the things my kids wanted to do was search for sea shells. We have a giant bag full of them around here somewhere. One day while we were out, my daughter Zoey found a sand dollar. And at that point the search was on for more.

We searched high and low for hours, but only found the one sand dollar. I knew, and explained to my kids, that the best time to find sand dollars is right after high tide, early in the morning. But nobody (including me) wanted to get up that early on vacation.

Soon our vacation was over, we came home, time passed, and I forgot all about this experience. Until yesterday.

I worked yesterday until around noon, came home, had some lunch and decided to take a little nap. I fell asleep pretty hard actually, and had a dream.

I generally don’t remember my dreams, but the ones I do remember involve me either chasing something or being chased, falling off a cliff or building, showing up in middle school in nothing but my underwear, breathing under water (seriously – who dreams that?) or that I have a super power such as flight or the ability to turn invisible at will.

This dream was different. Vivid, but partly in black and white, partly in color.

In this dream, my whole family was on the beach again. It was sunny, but chilly. We were desperately searching for sand dollars, but all we could see were shiny rocks and sea shells. They were everywhere – they littered the beach, they hurt our feet as we walked over them.

We came to a low spot on the beach and a young man with long hair and darkly tanned skin asked us what we were doing. We told him we were searching for sand dollars, had been searching for hours and days, but had not been able to find anything except rocks and shells.

He looked at each of us, snapped his fingers and said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a sand dollar.” We looked, and where there had been nothing but rocks and shells, there were now sand dollars everywhere.

I was still dreaming. I could see the blue water of the ocean, the color of the sand, and that the sand dollars were that same sandy color – they had been there all along, but we couldn’t see them because of the rocks and shells.

When I woke up, I immediately knew what was going on in my dream. The beach was the whole world, and our desperate search for sand dollars was what everyone in the world goes through – a search for meaning, for purpose, for peace and rest. The thing being searched for is at hand, but it’s missed because of everything else that’s in the way – the worries of life. Jobs, laundry, dirty dishes, house payments – the day to day things that keep us from seeing what is true, what is real, what is eternal, what is just below the surface and blends into the background.

Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” If you’re a child of God, it is something you take with you everywhere you go. It is on us, the sons and daughters of the King, to prepare the way, to clear away the debris of the day to day so that the world can see what lies obscured in the background. And even for us it can be hard. We have the same worries as everyone else, but we also know that if we are seeking the Kingdom, all these other things will be added as well.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a sand dollar. Not at all hard to find! And people are searching for it. They are desperate, lost and alone. But we can show them the way!