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Pearls of Wisdom

(ROCKWALL, TX — April 30, 2018) When I say the word, pearl, what comes to your mind?  A person’s name?  Minnie Pearl? (Now I’m really revealing my age, as half of the people reading this have no idea who I’m talking about!  The other half got a smile on their faces just thinking about her!)  Pearl Buck?

Pearl Bailey?  What visions are coming to mind?

How about pearly gates, pearl of great price, Pearl Harbor, pearls of wisdom, string of pearls?  That’s where I’m going.  When I say, string of pearls, what comes to mind?  May I point you to the familiar neck of Barbara Bush who died earlier this month at her home in Houston after a lengthy illness?

I listened intently to every word of her funeral service.  The music, the reverence, the laughter…all was according to her plan.  She planned the whole thing.  Her son spoke about asking her earlier in that week if she was ready for death.  She confidently said,

“Yes.  I know Jesus.  I’m ready.”

She was a woman of great wisdom…full of pearls of wisdom.  I laughed when it was said by her son at the funeral, “There were no safe spaces in our home growing up.  There was also no negotiating table.”  Listening to that warmed me because my home was the same.  My parents were of the same bolt of cloth…the same string of pearls.

The news revealed hundreds of Barbara-isms…pearls of wisdom.  The pearls she wore constantly were not expensive.  They were cultured, faux pearls designed by Kenneth Jay Lane.  You can still buy them today.  She once said if she ever took them off she was sure her head would fall off!

I read, “She was more interested in having values than having valuables.” Her strength of character, how she valued people, not things, her investment in others including her family, will truly reveal her worth.

There’s a story in the Bible about a merchant who discovered, while looking for beautiful pearls, instead found a pearl of great price. He ran home, sold everything he owned so he could purchase that great treasure.  I’m assuming from the short parable that he knew what he was looking for.  He might have even been a pearl expert.  But the value of this one particular pearl caused a crisis in his life…a crisis that resulted in the elimination of all things previously of value to him.  Why?  Because he had discovered something more valuable than anything he had held dear prior to his find.  His reaction was drastic, but the treasure became his.  He knew what he was looking for…and found it.  He recognized the value.

The woman who was famous for the pearls she wore was the same.  She knew the value of those things that were priceless and invested in them.  Her dividends will be Eternal.  In what have you invested your life?  Is your life a parable of declaration of the things you hold dear?  What do you treasure?

That’s a good word.

By Paula Lively. Paula is a Volunteer Chaplain at Broadmoor Medical Lodge in Rockwall. She is a VERY retired RN who loves serving the residents at Broadmoor. She and her husband, Fred, have lived in Rockwall for 15 years.

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