I recall vividly walking a motel parking lot as a security guard in the wee hours of the morning while God gave me inspiration to write this book. The weather was unfavorable to say the least, with many nights of freezing temperatures and even cold rain, but my fellowship with God in those times warmed my heart and filled my mind with topics to write about.
At other times, ideas came to me as I was driving on my evening delivery job. On those occasions, I scrambled to jot down the ideas while negotiating lane changes and stop lights in rush hour traffic. Sometimes all I had was a paper napkin or other scrap of paper lying in the seat to scribble down the main thoughts. But in those moments, it was as if God was saying "here is the material I am giving you, now take it and write it down." And so I did.
The original idea for this book was spawned about ten years ago when I was surveying my collection of seashells packed in an old plastic five-gallon bucket. Looking at those shells quickly took me back to our last trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where I had painstakingly collected the seashells. I was careful to pick out just the right shells, in hopes that they would make suitable pieces for some craft projects I envisioned. While I mused about the morning walks on the beach that produced the collection and studied the variety of shells I had brought home, a story began to form in my mind. Later that evening, I put pen to paper in formulating those thoughts into a rough draft, but for some reason laid it aside for several years.
In the spring of 2012, I came across that essay when I was looking through some paperwork. I read it over again and began to make revisions and additions to the copy. All I had in mind was to finish the essay, but then God had something else in mind. He began to take that story and enlarge my vision about writing similar stories in the form of analogies, even parable-like illustrations. He showed me how spiritual precepts could be drawn from ordinary items in everyday life.
I have written the book in analogy form for the purpose of edifying believers and opening the eyes of others to God’s timeless truths. I begin each story with a natural object, describing it in a story or anecdote and then follow up with a spiritual parallel and a scripture verse at the conclusion. The book can be helpful for devotional purposes or it can be applied in teaching object lessons to youth or adults.
The main import is that God's world is replete with illustrations to get our attention and teach us His truths. He is constantly painting pictures from his palette of many colors in brushstrokes of truth that we observe in everyday objects. This book is but an example of those many pictures.