A while ago I wrote about a mabe pearl still on the oyster shell. (The Pearl Within) What I didn’t write was that when my husband first brought it home along with all the other treasures from Tahiti, we thought it was a dud, a mistake in the culturing process, a pearl gone wrong.
Even though we thought it was something flawed, we still wanted to find a place for it. We enjoy unique things and much of our home is decorated with one-of-a kind objects so instead of packing it away somewhere we put it in the bathroom and used it as a soap dish.
It was actually a great little soap dish! The natural concave of the shell kept the slippery bar from sliding on to the counter. It was easy to clean and held up nicely even with five little pairs of hands that frequently used it. It stayed on the bathroom counter for years doing a wonderful job…until I got curious.
I wondered what went wrong and why it ended up the way it did. It certainly didn’t look like all the other pearls I had seen. I expected to find that there must have been a deficiency in the oyster or the misplacement of the grain of sand. On the first Google search, I found pictures similar to what I had. It didn’t take long to discover what it really was and not a mistake at all. To have it be used as a slimy soap dish after that didn’t seem quite right so I cleaned it up and took it out of the bathroom.
One day while I was working at my desk my husband came in and saw that I had put the mabe pearl on my cabinet.
“You know what I find interesting?” he said. “When you thought that oyster shell was flawed you were completely fine with it being used as a soap dish. Now that you know what it is, you put it in a place on honor in your office.”
My husband knew that the discovery affected me…and it certainly should have. The oyster shell was still the same. The mabe pearl didn’t suddenly become brighter or change color. It was my perception and understanding that had been altered. I had judged quickly based on what I saw and what I supposed to be true.
I keep it by my desk to remind me that my estimations aren’t always correct, that I lived for years under a false assumption. To prompt me to put into practice more earnestly the truth found in 1 Samuel 16:7
“…for the Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”