Friday, October 28, 2011

Treasured Treasure

One of my most favorite pieces of jewelry is one the no one bought for me. There are several things that I love about it:

1. It is one of a kind

2. It is from the Philippines

3. My Pappaw brought it back to my Mammaw after fighting in the Navy during WW2

But I almost missed it.

You have to understand, my Pappaw was one of my favorite people. His easy smile. His quiet spirit. The smell of his pipe. His big hands and bald head. (He used to say, “God only makes so many perfect heads. The other heads have hair.) Pappaw kept a wooden box in a drawer in his dresser. I remember seeing it when I was growing up wondering what was in it. When I was in college, I asked him what was in it and if I could look in it. He grinned and handed me the box. It had old pictures of him in his Navy uniform with his hat to the side – even in his pictures he had swagger. He reminded me of John Wayne. He was such a good lookin’ man. There were little knick-knacks, and things I don’t remember. Then I saw this small, hard piece of jewelry. I asked him about it. He told me that while he was a cook in the Navy he had gone to the Philippines and bought this bracelet for Mammaw. She had long since stopped wearing it, but for some reason he had kept it. (I don’t know why, but it must have been something he liked too.) I asked him if I could have it. He grinned and handed it to me. Of course, I made sure it was okay with Mammaw that I had it. I couldn’t tell what it was. It was corroded and black. I thought there was a coin of some sort, but I just couldn’t make out the rest. I took it to a jeweler who was tentative about cleaning it once I told him the story, but he agreed to put it into a shaker or vibrator. I came back the next day, and I was amazed. All of the blackness, all of the corrosion had been shaken off to reveal that there wasn’t just one coin but seven coins.

Being in the insurance industry, I tried to get it appraised in order to get it insured. The lady who does all my appraisals said she could not put a price or value on it because she had never seen anything like it, and knowing its history, she didn’t feel that an appraisal would do any good because it could never be replaced.

Irreplaceable. Rare. Beautiful. Shiny. All qualities I love in jewelry.

Individually, the coins really aren’t worth much. If the coins were loose coins, they still wouldn’t be worth much. But because someone took the time to solder the coins together during World War II and sell it in the Philippines to a Navy seaman, it is priceless. This is synergy. Together the parts are more than the sum of the parts because it is priceless.

We are all a bit like this bracelet. Irreplaceable. Rare (Each of us is one of a kind.) Beautiful (especially on the inside when God cleans us up).

There is one difference. You have a price. You have been bought with a price. Jesus died on the cross to pay the cost of your sins, so you can have a relationship with a most Holy God. The question is…”Do you have a relationship with God?” When you stand before Him one day to be judged (as we all will), how will you answer Him when He asks, “Why should I let you into heaven?” Your answer will determine whether you get in or not. If you are interested, send me a message. I’ll be glad to share this unique, priceless gift He has waiting for you.

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