Tag Archives: miracle

My Second Jewelry Miracle

IMG_0560Craig and I were married on August 1, 1970. On our wedding day, he gave me a beautiful strand of matched cultured pearls. It was by far the most valuable jewelry I had ever owned. On our first anniversary, Craig surprised me with matching pearl earrings. I was overcome by his thoughtfulness and I treasured them.

I kept my pearls in a little velour bag and took them out for special occasions. When I received the earrings, I put them in the bag with the necklace. But later, because I wore them more often, I began putting the pearl earrings in a case with my other earrings. Years later, I purchased a  strand of fake pearls that I felt comfortable wearing more often.  I kept the fake pearls in another velour bag in my jewelry case. The fake ones were very nice and looked genuine, but I was always able to tell them apart from my real ones.

On a day in 1985, I wore my pearl earrings to work as I often did as a teacher at Bradshaw Mountain High School.  In the afternoon, when I was preparing to go home, I noticed that one of my earrings was missing. Needless to say, I was devastated. I had lost something of great value–not just because they were real pearls, but because of their importance to me as a gift from my husband.

I looked for that earring nearly every day I walked the campus or spent time in my classroom, but I was never able to find it. A few years later, our high school was moved to a new campus and I had to give up the search for my earring.

Twenty-five years later, I was organizing my jewelry. I removed the strand of pearls from the bag and there was the single earring I had placed in the bag after losing its mate.  I removed the strand of fake pearls from the second bag and out came a single earring. I figured that I had put the earring in the wrong bag, so I placed it in the bag with the real pearls.

A few months later, I planned to wear my pearls.  I dumped them out on the bed. Along with the strand of pearls, came two perfectly matched pearl earrings.

How many times over the course of twenty-five years had I taken those pearls out of their bag? How many times had I looked at that lone earring with a feeling of sadness? Yet here were both earrings. How could that be?

Of course, there are logical explanations. Maybe I only put one earring in that morning. Maybe there had always been one earring in each bag.  Maybe I had just overlooked it for twenty-five years. As someone who believes in miracles, I tend to have as much faith in the improbable as the probable. And so I choose to believe that this treasure of my heart was  returned to me as a gift of love.

The miracle of the lost diamond

Scan_20140903Jesus told several parables about the extent someone would go to in order to find something of great value. In each case, once the lost item was recovered, the owner called together friends and family to celebrate. I can relate to this in a very real way.

It was 1981 and my husband Craig and I were at the Jaycee National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. We had attended the week-long convention which culminated in a parade through the streets of downtown Cleveland. We would be driving our new Audi in the parade. Since it had a sunroof, it was decided that the Arizona Jaycee president and his wife would sit on the roof of our car with their feet in the opening of the sun roof. This arrangement upset me greatly and I made it obvious that as the president of the Arizona Jaycee Women I thought I should be riding on the top of the car instead of inside.

I continued to pout and otherwise act like a spoiled child as I got into the car to start the parade. As I sat down in the passenger seat, my husband gasped, “Oh my gosh, your ring!” I looked down at my left hand to see a gaping hole where my diamond should have been. Now instead of being upset about my position in the parade, I could think of nothing else but the missing diamond.

To make matters worse, we had left our children with Craig’s grandparents in Kent. While we were visiting there, his grandmother showed me a diamond she had found and told me how important it was to have your set checked regularly. I had shrugged this off as something I didn’t have time for. Now I was faced with returning to Kent and admitting I had lost my diamond. Shame piled upon shame filled my heart and mind.

As the parade came to an end, I vowed to search every inch of downtown Cleveland until I found the diamond. Obviously this was an impossible task as I had no idea when or where I had lost it. Finding a needle in a haystack would have been an easier task. At least the search would be limited to the haystack.

Craig and I returned to the spot on the street where we had lined up for the parade. Both sides of the street were cluttered with trash. I looked at Craig and said, “It’s hopeless. Even if it’s here I’ll never find it.” Just as I was ready to give up, we looked across the street to where I had stood visiting some friends before the parade began. Craig and I noticed a tiny glint in the pavement under some litter. Certain it couldn’t possibly be the diamond, we raced across the street anyway. I’m not sure how much light a half-carat diamond can reflect, but it was enough. I bent down and brushed away the trash. There in the dirt-filled street lay my diamond.

Just as in the parable, I spent the rest of my time in Cleveland telling everyone I saw about my miracle experience. In the Handy Helpers book, A Rocky Start, Amber’s dad tells her that God’s mercy is what we need most when we deserve it the least. Certainly, there was nothing in my behavior that day that warranted any mercy but I received it anyway–proof that God responds to our needs even when we’re too self-absorbed to ask.