Every year when we read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic The Scarlet Letter, the girls in my American Literature class fall for this dramatic tale of a woman who goes wrong yet learns from her sin and becomes a stronger, better person. My students’ hearts break for Hester Prynne as she navigates the world alone, rejected by the men who claim to love her and the religious folks around her.
When she rises above her personal pain to reach out to those in need, they cheer her on.
As we discuss the difference between consequences of sin and God’s grace and forgiveness, they begin to see parts of their own story in Hester’s journey.
They love that after Hester gave birth to her daughter out of wedlock, she “named the infant Pearl, as being of great price—purchased with all she had—her mother’s only treasure” (Hawthorne 76).
And that’s when I share what I’ve learned about Becoming the Pearl of Great Price.
The pearl is an interesting study. Unlike other gems, pearls are produced by a living organism, an oyster, as the result of a wound.
The pearl usually begins forming around a grain of sand or an egg of some parasite that invaded the oyster—or it could even be a small piece of the oyster’s own shell—a self-inflicted wound.
The oyster protects itself by layering the irritant with nacre or mother-of-pearl
Until out of pain and suffering it forms an object of great beauty.
What started off as something unwanted, unattractive, and worthless actually becomes a gem of great worth!
So it is with us.
From birth, we’re marred by sin, unable to become what our Heavenly Father envisioned when He planted us in the womb.
If left to ourselves, we wander through the days that stretch out before us, constantly seeking beautiful coverings to hide the ugliness we see in our own hearts.
Little pieces of jealousy, bitterness, unkindness, fear fester into wounds that smother our peace and pierce our happiness.
But because He loves us, God purchases us,
Clothes us with His righteousness,
And transforms us into a thing of beauty.
He talks about it in Matthew 13:45 . . .
“God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.”
Many see this as a parable of a person seeking the kingdom of heaven.
But some see another level of meaning where Christ is the jewel merchant, and we are the pearl.
This resonates with me because I know it from firsthand experience.
God, our big-hearted Heavenly Father, has a special talent for seeing the treasure inside the people and things that everyone else overlooks.
These verses testify to how great a value Christ places on you and me . . .
“They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels.” Malachi 3:17
“The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be!” Zechariah 9:16&17a
And here’s the same truth from The Message . . .
“Their God will save the day. He’ll rescue them. They’ll become like sheep, gentle and soft, or like gemstones in a crown, catching all the colors of the sun. Then how they’ll shine! Shimmer! Glow!”
May you sparkle as His treasured daughter today. Blessings, friends!
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This week I might be linking up with Motivation Monday, Reflect, Small Wonder Link-Up,Playdates with God, Book Musing Monday, The Art of Homemaking Monday, Mix It Up Monday,Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop,Monday Musings,Modest Mondays, Make Your Home Sing Monday, Busy Monday, Good Morning Monday, Ra Ra Link-Up,Soul Survival, Turn It Up Tuesday,Titus 2 Tuesdays, Testimony Tuesday, Intentional Tuesday,Enchanting Rose, Raising Homemakers, Woman to Woman, Hope In Every Season, A Little R&R,Wake Up Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays,Wise Woman Wednesday, Words with Winter,Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, World-filled Wednesday, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Mom’s Morning Coffee,Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Live Free Thursday, Thought Provoking Thursday,From House to Home Link Party,Grace at Home, Christian Fellowship Friday, Faith-filled Friday, Faith & Fellowship Friday,Friendship Friday, Equipping Godly Women, Freedom Friday, Friday Features Link Party, Everyday Jesus, Grace and Truth, Dance with Jesus, Coffee Date (end of month), Paula’s No Rules Weekend Hop, Saturday Sharefest, Saturday Situation, Still Saturday, Fresh-brewed Sundays, What I Learned This Month, and The Sunday Community.