Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hidden Worth

We are furiously packing and preparing for both Matt's graduation and then the DI Global Finals. We will be spectacularly leap-frogging from one to the other. I always plan to fit 10 days of everything I need in one small suitcase, and somehow I can never pack less than ten large suitcases. And then of course there are the last minute things that we will think of and we need backpacks for those few things... and before I know it, there is no longer any room in the van for us.

But I was cleaning a rather old and nasty backpack out to give me just one more thing to pack those few trillion last minute items in.... and had to dump our fishing gear out of it.
It is always astonishing to find what collects in old backpacks. This one had 3 year old snacks, a collapsible bowl in case we ever caught a fish and wanted to watch it swim before we let it go, 50 different lures, none of which have ever fooled one single fish, sinks and bobbers, which people who know how to fish have told me I attach incorrectly, several broken but once lovely shells, two collapsible fishing poles which are about the cutest little things you have ever seen, bandaids for the inevitable hook in some fleshy section of the body, neosporin for the inevitable carnage of ripping hooks from fleshy sections of the body, several napkins, needle nose pliers (for crushing barb against hook so we don't hurt the fish), and ( this next one flummoxed even me) bicycle gloves. I am not quite sure why I had bicycle gloves in my fishing backpack.

After dumping all the fishing stuff in a different container so I could clean the backpack, I turned it inside out so I could scrub the inside. There was a "ping" on the counter top and out of the bowels of the empty backpack, a little diamond earring plinked out. I blinked at the sparkling gem. Now where had that come from and why was it in my fishing kit? I examined it closely. It looked like about a half carat, and it sparkled like it was brand new. It certainly looked real. I have always wanted diamond earrings but no one has ever taken the hint and gotten me any. I don't have a huge materialistic streak, but I do think diamond earrings are beautiful. However, I am not sure what I can do with just one diamond earring. I do intend to take it to a jeweler and either be laughed out of the store for asking the value of a cubic zirconium, or perhaps being escorted to a velvet chair and served Perrier while the jeweler staggers at the value of the perfect diamond. If it is a real diamond, I will ask what it would cost to have a matching earring made, or maybe I will make it into a necklace.....or maybe I will trade it in for the prize behind door #2. So many possibilities await me!

But the message is not lost on me, despite the blinding and blunting aspect of avarice on one's normally pristine character. It is sometimes the old, the discarded, the neglected, the disregarded that harbor something deep at its core of inestimable value and worth. Two neighbors have gotten rescue dogs in the past week, both headed for euthanasia, both thought of no worth. Both are the sweetest most wonderful dogs on earth, loving and gentle and returning mountains of joy to their new families.

And how many times have I looked at the outer trappings of some old, odd, or grumpy,rumpled person and not bothered to love what is the core of his precious humanity, created by God for a purpose? Oh how I long to look on all creation with the eyes of my heavenly Father, seeing deep into the soul of a perhaps lost and wounded spirit longing to be set free....a diamond waiting to be released from a deep and dusty cavern.

1 Peter 3:3-5 (New International Version)

3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.


  1. I was wondering what happened to my other diamond earring!
    So how did it end up in your backpack?