Pearls: Don’t Cast Them Away

Pearls are an essential beauty accessory.

Pearls endure as an essential beauty accessory because they integrate well with any fashion or style preference.

From runway models adorned with draped ropes to royalty bedecked with single and multiple strands to fashion gurus flaunting their latest designs, even fashion magazine authors and Hollywood movie stars alike realize that pearls make an impression.

“Pearls are always appropriate,” so said former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Known for the three-strand pearl necklace she so often wore, Mrs. Jackie Onassis’s jewelry wardrobe consisted of a variety of pearl beauties. Her lovely pearl-drop earrings would catch anyone’s attention. She wore single and double-strand pearl necklaces and bracelets as well.

Being the classy lady that she was, her wearing of pearls certainly made an impression. Mrs. Onassis didn’t flaunt her pearls though. Instead, she wore them to enhance herself.

Instead of detracting from her beauty, pearls actually complimented her in a striking way. Just do an online search of her photos and you will see for yourself.

Pearls are simply beautiful.
Pearls are simply beautiful.

Queen Elizabeth of England frequently wears pearls. They reflect her desire to be modest yet fashionable. They are so important to her that she chose to wear a special two-strand necklace on her wedding day in 1947.

A pearl may also be found in now-deceased Princess Diana’s tiara which has since been presented to Kate Middleton.

Pearls are desired by the lowly, the modest, the well-to-do, and certainly the well-dressed.

It is not surprising that they be found on the latest wish list.

Pearls can be incorporated with other stones or accessories.
Pearls can be incorporated with other stones or accessories.

What is it that makes pearls so desirable? Is it their beauty, their costliness, their ability to impress or to enhance?

Pearls can be found naturally or can be cultured, farmed, or synthetic.

Looking through the glass cases at your favorite jewelry store, you may find it hard to discern real pearls from those that are cultured, farmed, or synthetic.

Real or natural pearls are formed by oysters or sea mussels (bi-valves) that are irritated by a foreign object that lodges inside their shells. The bi-valves then secretes a liquid that covers the foreign object in order to reduce the irritation. This process is continued causing a pearl to be formed in each.

For centuries, divers have risked their own lives diving for oysters with hopes of finding a rare pearl.

Pearls can be man-made instead of formed naturally.

Pearl farms have been created to culture pearls. Foreign substances are forcibly introduced into bi-valves. The bi-valves are fed and nurtured in order to harvest the pearls that are formed. The production of pearls in this manner has affected the market price of pearls.

Then there are the synthetic ones made of plastic, glass, or waxed glass. These can be distinguished from real pearls by how they feel when rubbed or bit with the teeth.

Pearls can be strung in a variety of ways.
Pearls can be strung together in a strand or on a chain.
Natural pearls remain the most desired.

Natural pearls remain the most desired albeit costly. But due to pearl farming, anyone at any economic level can afford to purchase a set of pearls for their very own. Their value, however, is determined by their size and shape, as well as, several other factors. The price of cultured pearls can range in the hundreds, but natural pearls can range in the tens of thousands.

Pearls are mentioned in the Bible.

Pearls are also mentioned in the Bible. Their value is highlighted in the following verse:

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.  Matthew 13:45-46

Another Scriptural reference is in Matthew 7:6:

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Why would anyone want to cast a precious string of pearls into the hog pen?

Why would anyone want to take what man had risked his life to find just to throw it to swine?

Pearls evolve from a painful insertion of a foreign object. For a bi-valve, this may be a grain of sand or grit that somehow finds its way inside the bi-valve’s shell.

Small bits of matter can create great pain.

We realize that small matters can sometimes create the most pain. That pain causes oysters to create pearls.

It is these painful moments in our own lives that also somehow become pearls. Man-made hurts inflicted upon us cause suffering that we find hard to endure. Self-inflicted wounds are the hardest to bear.

However, when we take those pains to our Lord and Saviour, He covers them with His balm of Gilead. As our Great Physician, he has a way of turning our sorrows into pearls.

This doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that takes time. God’s grace continues to cover us as we go through the healing process.

In fact, it is actually the struggles of life that form Christ in us.

Pearls are our memorial stones.

As Joshua took up 12 stones out of the midst of Jordan for a memorial, so our pearls are a memorial unto us. They remind us of the victories that came as we allowed Christ to help us face each obstacle, fight each battle, and choose to love in spite of any circumstance.

Then why would anyone take the pearls that have been formed through such pain and cast them before those that do not understand their value?

Why take our pains and sufferings and present them to those who would only turn and use them against us?

Christ’s instructed His hearers not to cast their pearls before swine.

Swine were considered unclean. God’s chosen people were not to partake of these animals. However, Jesus is not talking about animals but uses these words as descriptive of those who ridicule the Word and ridicule those who follow the Word.

The unclean are those who do not understand or appreciate the value of our pearls.

It is those who do not care to learn the lessons we have been taught and who will not grasp the hope that we have found.

We have to be careful with whom we share our “pearls.” There are those who we can enlighten with our pearl formations, but there are those who will only use those formations to turn and destroy us.

Our pearls are precious. They are our gifts of victory from our Saviour.

True pearls glow from within. The more they are worn, the more they glow.

Our pearls glow from within with the glory of God.

They are a reflection of His faithfulness to us.

Cling to your pearls. As Jackie Kennedy Onassis said, “Pearls are always appropriate.”

Wear them proudly, but humbly. May others with impressed with Christ in us. May they be drawn to His beauty.

Copyright 2016 by Peggy Clark

Enjoy your pearls.
Enjoy your pearls.

Do you have a favorite strand of pearls or a favorite set of pearl earrings?
Have you ever thought of your troubles and trials as a process to making pearls?
What “pearls” or victories through Christ do you have as a memorial?
May your pearls be used to bring glory to Christ. Remember the pain that the oyster endured to bring forth a pearl. Remember,also, the pain that Christ endured so that we could be victorious over our troubles and trials.

Peggy Clark is the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. Published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.