My inspiration this morning came from an article in this week's Sentinel, A pearl of great price. That is a reference to one of the ways Jesus described what the kingdom of heaven is like. It is found in Matthew 13. A merchant is 'seeking goodly pearls'. When he found 'one pearl of great price' he went and sold all he had so he could buy that pearl.
When I was a teenager my father bought me a string of pearls for my 16th birthday. It was small but lustrous and beautiful and I loved it. I still have it. But many years later I have a different string of pearls. It is priceless to me.
When I started to study Christian Science, it was if I finally found something I had been searching for just as diligently as that merchant, the way to worship God with a religion that saw Him the way I did, as the Good Shepherd, loving His flock. On my 'spiritual' necklace that is the central and most beautiful pearl. I've added 'spiritual' pearls in the form of healings. Joining The Mother Church, then my first branch church, class instruction, serving as Second Reader, giving my first Association Address, all more 'pearls'. I would also consider some of my favorite Bible passages as well as things from Mrs. Eddy's writings, as 'pearls'.
In nature pearls are formed when a bit of grit gets into the shell and causes irritation. A substance is secreted that covers it with a smooth layer. Layer upon layer is added and a beautiful pearl is formed. What a spiritual lesson for us as we deal with life's irritations through prayer, turning some intruding problem into a healing. Handled this way with prayer and understanding we come through the experience with our 'pearls', proofs of God's unfailing grace and loving care.
Too often I leave that 'string of pearls' hidden away. Today's article inspired me to take it out and think about how it has grown over the years. When I get dressed, I will mentally slip it on and go through the day smiling.
Be sure to take a look at your own and appreciate those pearls.