I love wearing pearls, don't you? So shimmery and sleek - classic and chic. (hey, that rhymed) ;) I think they glow like tiny moons. They're unique in the fact that they're the only "gem" that is actually a material created by an animal - a pearl oyster. All the other gems are rocks and minerals. Oh right, except for some rare corals.
I kinda have a thing for jewels. ;)
Treasures of the sea have always fascinated me. I grew up near the beach, you know. When I was a little homeschooled girl, we had a large library of books in our house, and one of them was all about treasure that had been brought up from the ocean - loot from shipwrecks. I don't know how many times I read that book, over and over again. I stared at the pictures of the emerald-encrusted gold cross, the Spanish doubloons, the ruby-studded dagger.
But anyway, where was I? Talking about pearls, that's right.
You've heard about how they're made a thousand times, right? So often that it's become a little tired-out, I would imagine.
Pearls are formed when a tiny irritation enters the oyster, like a grain of sand. (Poor thing. Imagine having something like that in your eye and you can't blink to get it out!) The oyster coats it with layers upon layers of pearly 'nacre' as long as it remains inside the shell. After about five seconds on Google I found an article that details the process a bit more here. To a jewelry-maker that works with pearls often, it's even more interesting.
This part sounds super scientific, but bear with me: "The nacre is not just a soothing substance. It is composed of microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate, aligned perfectly with one another, so that light passing along the axis of one crystal is reflected and refracted by another to produce a rainbow of light and color."
I'm sorry, but that's just beautiful. I'm freaking out over here. Pearls are actually tiny worlds composed of millions of rainbow-reflective crystals. How awesome is that?!
I was sitting on my bed, holding my Bible, thinking about pearls, after reading three verses the evening before with my family. (They're in Matthew, chapter 13, if you want to go read 'em yourself in your own preferred translation, but really, KJV, people, it's just so rich)
The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Um. Wow. I can't begin to imagine giving up every single thing I own for one pearl, even if it was gorgeous and bigger than my head. But this guy here, he didn't hold back. Not one bit.
These verses are in red letters in my Bible, which means Jesus said the words. He was actually talking to the disciples in this scene, because after he'd come back from preaching to a huge crowd from a boat they started asking him what the heck he meant with all those parables. ;) So Jesus starts to patiently explain to them what they meant.
They he hits them up with this pearl story. I believe the field represents believers, as a whole. Jesus sacrificed everything for those who would accept the price he paid for them on the cross. The pearl of great price?
My hands fly to my cheeks and I almost blush, thinking about it. Jesus gave his life for me. He thought of me as he hung there dying for my sins. Sins that, at that point in time, I hadn't even committed yet, because I hadn't even been born, nor had my great-great-great-grandparents.
I can't even begin to fathom it. I'm just grateful that I've accepted his beyond-generous offer.
If your heart answers "Yes, I believe it, and I've said it - Jesus is Lord. And he died for me." then - WOOOOOOHOOO! We'll be dining together at the most glorious banquet ever, in heaven, and worshiping the one and only GOD. There's no way I'm not accepting that party invitation! :) In fact, I already have!
When your heart is looking forward to something so incredibly beautiful... it's easier to let the day-to-day irritations become softened and covered in grace. forgiveness. love. mercy.
I'll never wear pearls again without thinking about the fact that I'm treasured by the creator of this world (and the little pearl-worlds of rainbowy crystals - still can't get over that) more than anything.
And guess what? So are you!