Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:1-11

I know many women who wear pearls proudly and don't feel they are truly dressed without them. Pearls are simple, elegant and beautiful. And yet they are begun with an irritation, created in reaction to sand inside the shell. As someone who lives with sand everywhere, on the floor, on surfaces, in pockets and crevices, sometimes in the sheets, in our food and in our eyes. Sand can be soft and warm to walk on at the beach and completely irritating in other places. And yet, from such annoyance is created beauty beyond price, a symbol of timeless elegance and beauty.

Jesus reminds the people how we as humans have a tendency to judge and reject others because of their behavior, their looks or their irritations. And yet he reminds us that God would have us focus on asking for what we need rather than detailing the lack in another person. It is easy to see other people's flaws and blame them for the troubles in the world. God would have us take the irritations in life and use them for the beauty and love of the world. God would have us ask for what we need and use our skills for the caring of others.

Today, I ask God to help me find a positive use for the irritations of life. I ask God to help me see beauty and value in everyone and everything I encounter today. May creativity be the byword and response to frustration and irritation. And may my life and hands be used for the good of others this day.

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