Also, I am giving a little talk at our upcoming Young Women in Excellence about pearls and faith. The idea is that pearls are formed a tiny layer at a time, just like our faith.
Pearls have been on my mind.
They're pretty. And interesting. It's sort of amazing to me how they form:
Natural Pearls form when an irritant - usually a parasite and not the proverbial grain of sand - works its way into an oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating, called 'nacre', is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed.
So we have these irritants (for example, my left eye which has been plaguing me for weeks).
I can't make a pearl out of it (since I'm, you know, not an oyster, mussel, or clam).
What can I do?
How can I turn my irritant into something beautiful and valuable?
I love reading the words of Bruce Hafen. He wrote:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28, 30) He spoke these comforting words in the context of asking his followers to develop a love pure enough to extinguish hatred, lust, and anger. His yoke is easy—but he asks for all our hearts.
His words do not describe an event, but a process. He does not request the answer to a yes-or-no question, but an essay, written in the winding trail of our experience.When I was in high school, I had a teacher who gave all sorts of quizzes and tests. They were all matching and multiple choice and so easy. So much easier than an essay, especially "an essay, written in the winding trail of our experience."
We're given this seemingly constant barrage of things, hard things. We keep having to level up. The other night I told Emma she was leveling up. She said, "But I'm failing." (She's not, she sometimes expects perfection.)
But I think that feeling that we're failing is sort of par for the course. Things get hard and we think we can't handle it. Then we turn to the Lord. We ask for Him to share the burden, we yoke ourselves to Him.
How does that help my eye?
I don't know.
I think I can work on becoming more empathetic. I can learn to take care of myself but in the words of my dad, also learn not to take myself too seriously.
My eye hurts. So what? I can still serve others. I can still do good in the world. I can still seek to be better. I can love more.
Maybe love = pearls for us humans who aren't, you know, oysters, mussels or clams.