November 29, 2014
Today, let’s take time to reflect on one of the most unique and beautiful creation of nature: the Pearl. The Pearl is not a gem. It is an “element” (pun intended) and in a classification of it’s own.
The gems which we highly prize including gold and silver come from the earth. They are formed by the pressure exerted upon them by the forces of nature. Which, in itself, is a lesson for us.
The Pearl…….a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk.
- Just like the shell of a clam or oyster, A Pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in layers.
- Being irritated by a parasite or something intruding into the shell, the mollusk forms a pearl sac of tissue cells and secrets a substance to cover the irritant.
- This protection process is repeated many times, thus producing A Pearl.
This process also speaks of the irritations and difficulties in our lives.
- We don’t want to let something invade our life that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
- So, if we desire to live a life that benefits others and ourselves; we must work to protect our lives from whatever is attempting to intrude and be unprofitable to us.
- This may be a long and tedious process. A Pearl is not created overnight, but is slowly developed by a repetitive building up of layer upon layer of protection by the mollusk.
Fine quality Pearls are most of the time iridescent.
- Like the interior of the shell that produces them.
- Our life, as seen by others, will reflect what we are on the inside.
In this modern age of “anything goes” there is so much offered to us that has absolutely no benefit.
- Much of it causes nothing but harm and destruction.
- It seems pleasurable at the moment, but unforeseen results come into our lives.
Do we, as individuals, want to go along with today’s culture.
- And, let that which is undesirable into our lives?
- Or are we alert to what is damaging, so that we can put into process the tools to protect ourselves?
In 1895 there was a book written by Henry Van Dyke called “The Story Of The Other Wise Man.”** Like the other Magi, He sees the signs in the heavens proclaiming that a King had been born among the Jews. He sets out on his journey to see the newborn ruler, carrying treasures to give as gifts to the child – a sapphire, a ruby and A Pearl of great price.
He stops along the way to help a dying man, which makes him miss joining the caravan of the other three wise men. Since he missed the caravan, he is forced to sell one of his treasures in order to buy camels and supplies necessary to cross the desert alone.
He arrives in Bethlehem too late to see the child, whose parents have fled to Egypt. He then saves the life of another child at the price of another one of his treasures.
He travels to Egypt and spends many years searching for Jesus there, also in many other countries. All along the way he performs acts of kindness and charity to those who needed assistance.
After thirty-three years, he is still a pilgrim, searching for the King he heard about all those many years ago.
He finally arrives in Jerusalem just in time for the crucifixion of Jesus. There he spends his last treasure, The Pearl, to ransom a young woman about to be sold as a slave.
He is mortally wounded in an accident, and is about to die, having failed in his quest.
Yet, he was at peace, because he had done the best he could. A voice whispers to him “Verily I say unto thee, In as much as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me.” The Other Wise Man had found his King.
The word Pearl is a description of something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable.
There is not another exactly like you. When each of us decides to rid ourselves of the irritations inside, we become a rare find for others and our life become more valuable to them and to our own selves.
Pearls have a softer exterior than the hardened gems of earth. It is said that they will take on a specific luster and color from the oils, minerals etc. on the skin of the one who wears them. What traits do you take on in your life for others to see?
In this life there are always lessons to be learned. What can you learn from A Pearl?
“The burden of suffering seems a tombstone hung about our necks,
while in reality it is the only weight which is necessary to keep the diver down…
while he is hunting for pearls.”
**The Story Of The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke, Publisher: Harper & Brothers