Friday, December 2, 2011


I'm working my way through the book "Too Small To Ignore" by the CEO of Compassion International, Wess Stafford. I have jotted down so many little nuggets of inspiration, and I wanted to share one with you. The author begins the tenth chapter describing a pearl. Unlike other fine jewels such as a diamond or ruby, the pearl comes originally from suffering. Once just a piece of sand embedded in an oyster-- the hurting and uncomfortable oyster protects itself by coating the sand with its secretion that layer upon layer becomes a shining treasure-- a pearl!

Amazing that a beautiful thing such as the pearl can be formed while living an uncomfortable and even painful life!

The author continues on to explain the Pearls of Poverty-- great and beautiful things formed as a result of suffering.  I love this.  And so I wanted to share with you.

The Pearl of Love--  There is nothing more powerful that belongs to the poor as much as it belongs to the rich.  It most certainly cannot be taken away either.  In the midst of poverty with no food, no medicine, and no money-- there is love to give.  When there is nothing else to give-- you can still give love.  When there is nothing else you can do but hold your dying friend in your arms as they slip into the loving arms of Jesus you are never the same. 

Awwe, to be compelled by love.

The Pearl of Joy-- What a brave way to respond to the circumstances of life driven by poverty.  When all else fails and good fortune never comes-- somehow the poor comprehend better than we do that joy is not dictated by the circumstances of life. To find reason to smile and laugh in the midst of poverty is the pearl of joy.  It too cannot be taken away. 

The Pearl of Hope--  A courageous decision when life's harshness and injustices pile up. Even when the poor are suffering endlessly they cling to hope.  We tend to be hopeful only when we have more assets than liabilities and yet the poor who have it the other way around are amazingly strong in their hope-- always.

The Pearl of Time Perspective-- The poor understand that time is not their master.  They manage to always have time for each other-- what's really important.  To be constantly ruled by a time schedule is a fatal condition.  It is horribly contagious too.

I feel this probably more than anything.  I never have enough time.  And only when my schedule permits do I find a moment to squeeze in time for relationships outside my home.  I tend to hurry up and wait more than I make time for others in my life.

The Pearl of People Matter; Things Don't--  This is reality for the poor.  They put value in people, not things.  If we stop and put the values of eternity into perspective, we realize that we can't take it with us.  True treasure is the relationships we build with people.
I must admit that I am envious that my treasure chest lacks an abundance of these jewels.  How rich the poor are in so many ways!  I pray for joy in all my circumstances.  I hope to learn to smile and laugh no matter how uncomfortable I am at the moment.  I pray that I can grasp the pearl of hope during the trials in our lives.  And I know that I am rich when I can say no to running to the store because I choose to go visit a friend. 

 As I grow to understand that my life is like the oyster-- God takes the grains of sand of my life and turns them into a beautiful thing.  I know He does the same thing with your life.


  1. Thanks for sharing.
    Don't forget to treasure your family time at Disney and enjoy it even when it's standing in a long line! :)
    Hey, Star Tours is awesome...and Chad and Erika said they had made it new, so make sure your family gets a chance to go on that one! It was so fun! You might want to use the fast pass because it is so popular.

  2. I had lunch with him one day. What an interesting and humble man.

  3. Thank you for sharing this Christine. It is so true that God takes the trials in our lives & shapes our character into something of beauty ~ if we let Him.
    Have a wonderful week

  4. That's a great book... I read it years ago, and should read it again. :)

  5. Hi! Life is like an oyster it can have a pearl in it that makes it half full or half empty. It is all how we view it. With God's blessings I pray everyone has full oysters. Pat


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