|One day my father-in-law, Dad Tada, presented me with a family heirloom, a string of genuine pearls. He told me they had been harvested in Japan, not far from where he lived much of his life. I was captivated by the milky, soft glow of each perfect pearl. Ken draped the pearls around my neck, and I wheeled to a mirror.
As I admired them, Dad Tada explained how a pearl is produced. A tiny bit of sand lodges in the flesh of an oyster and becomes an irritating intrusion. Unable to expel it, the oyster covers the particle with layer after layer of a milky secretion until the irritation has become smooth, round, and acceptable. It also inadvertently becomes a precious gem.
A pastor once wrote, “Pearls, unlike other jewels, are drawn from the animate creation. (Other jewels are made from rocks and crystals and are mined out of the earth…) Pearls are produced by life—a life which has overcome the working of death.”
Jesus, the Pearl of great price, is unlike any other. He is the precious gem set apart from the rest. He lived in such a way that he overcame the working of death. He is superior because his love poured forth from a life wounded by pain. He has become our example. We experience irritants in our lives, but God gives layer after layer of grace until the irritation becomes smooth and acceptable. What was an intrusion becomes a precious gem for all to admire…and for which God receives glory.
Pull your string of pearls (imitation or not) from your jewelry box, and hang them over the mirror above your dresser for a few days. They will brighten your bedroom and your appreciation for Jesus, the one and only Pearl.
My wounded Savior, teach me through your example to let intrusions in my life become pearls. Remind me how you transform pain into beauty.