Over the last year Titus 2’s ministry has received several gifts of jewelry. Most of it has been costume or vintage jewelry, although some gold chains were received from one donor. Sale of some of the pieces has provided over $450 of income to the ministry. Several items have been made available to the ladies for their use and enjoyment. Other items have been sold at yard sales.
Among some of the items that have been retained are several pearl necklaces, earrings, and pins. It has been our plan to use pearls as a gift for the women as they exit the program. Why?
As I have shared with the students from time to time, a pearl is a precious gem that comes about because of a noxious or irritating foreign body, a contaminant, that creates a state of discomfort. The oyster invests time, energy, and its own God-given physical capability to overcome the uncomfortable presence of the irritant. Eventually, something that represents all that has gone into the process yields something highly desirable and valuable, worthy of possessing and cherishing.
Also, as I have shared with students through the years, the gates of Heaven are made of pearls. It seems to me that the way into the kingdom of God is through our willingness to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in transforming the difficulties that we encounter during our earthly lives into a response of love, obedience, and gratitude to God. Truly, pearls of great price.
One young lady as she progressed through the recovery program expressed how she liked pearls. She was wearing a strand of grey beads that looked somewhat like pearls one day and said that she had never thought she would own or feel comfortable wearing pearls. I asked her why. She replied, “Because I didn’t think I was worth it.”
My heart ached that someone so lovely, precious, and beloved by God would ever have felt that way about herself. Thankfully, through a relationship with Christ, she has overcome the persistent view of herself as damaged beyond repair and unworthy. She now knows that she is something beautiful that God created for a special purpose and whom Christ has chosen to be his own.
These pearls – necklace, earrings, and a pin- are now hers, a gift from donors whose excess jewelry became the means of grace by which God has spoken to a young lady about her worth……and Christ’s.
Cathy Byrd, MS CRSS