Something I have known since my school days was just brought back to me by an article I read. It was called June’s Gem, and it was all about pearls. When some kind of irritant (a piece of sand or an insect) gets into the shell of the mollusk, it does not try to get it out. Instead the creature keeps wrapping the irritant with the same material that makes its shell. And little by little the irritant is smoothed to the point of forming a pearl.
So that lovely set of pearls you received for your graduation, or the pearl-a-year necklace your grandmother started for you, began with an itch in the shell of an oyster.
What really came through to me though was the fact that the little itch, the little irritant became a beautiful treasure.
I often have little irritants, little itches, caused by almost anyone and anything, a friend, an acquaintance, a family member, the heat, the rain the not ripe peach, etc.
Funny though, I do not wrap the itch with some soothing over and over. I dwell on it with something akin to snarling.
Who would ever think that the oyster, by dealing with a small irritant could be such a teacher!
Wrapping the unripe peach in softness of thought will not make it ripe. It will, however, smooth over my own irritating ways!
Peace and Joy,
Oldenburg Franciscan Center
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