Women from the Deep Coastal South love our Pearls. The Mother of Pearls is the Oyster, one of our most highly prized culinary gifts from the sea. Especially in November and December when the waters are cold enough- out of our beloved bays and inlets fishermen retrieve the finest oysters in the world from their peaceful beds beneath the waters. Stormy rough waves or an out-of-the-blue rush of water- a grain of sand enters the rare oyster. The sharp edges bother and irritate the delicate flesh of the oyster. All oysters live in a close knit community called an Oyster Bed.
A Pearl Oyster lives in secret pain- silent agony. The oyster has no means to rid itself of this tiny bit of trouble. Unnoticed by the others in the watery bed-the oyster is experiencing inner turmoil and pain from just a tiny errant grain of sand. It hurts the oyster, it bothers the bivalve- after all the oyster was just sitting there trying to survive when the grain of sand came out of nowhere. Troubles are often like that. To survive, the pearl oyster must decide-
- to accept the pain,
- find a way to live with the pain,
- cover the grain of sand,
- round off the rough edges.
Oysters have a way to heal themselves of troubles which will not go away. Within the oyster’s delicate system there is a God given remedy for pain and heartache. The lowly oyster patiently secretes a substance which surrounds an aggravating bit of trouble. There are times in our lives when we endure trouble born out of a small things- secret living griefs that-
- must be endured,
- knows no relief,
- interrupts our sleep
- and threatens our peace.
We do have choices- we can:
- ignore the pain
- hope it will go away-
- minimize the trouble –
- ‘Oh it’s just a small thing, I’ll be alright’-
- wait in excruciating silence,
- wonder how to endure a painful uncertain future.
As the tiny grain of sand digs deeper, a constant nagging source of pain, the oyster may clamp shut hoping to avoid another grain of sand that could cause more pain , more trouble. When the oyster accepts the grain of sand– the oyster’s system takes over the healing process. Beauty will be born out of trouble. It takes a bit of effort on the part of the oyster- to survive, patience endurance is required. Bit by bit a milky substance is secreted- the grain of sand becomes a part of the oyster. Hidden in the injured flesh of a lowly rustic living creature, a Pearl is being formed. With longsuffering patience, and in cooperation with the Merciful Provision of God- small irritations and troubles have the potential to be transformed into valuable luminous loveliness-Pearls.
Born of Trouble, lonesome pain and solitary determination- the Oyster’s life work becomes a thing of infinite beauty and value. So may our irritations and pain become tokens of beauty which glorify God. This morning our prayer is that the Lord will string together our heartaches and irritations and show us the gleaming luminosity of our lives- Beauty Born out of Trouble. On this, the Merciful Day of our Lord, may we ponder the dilemma of the Pearl Oyster- living proof that a thing of Beauty can be born out of Trouble.
Love y’all, Camellia
All photographs are mine