Several years ago, my husband spent some time in Tahiti on a film project. They hired some native craftsmen as part of their team and one of these men also worked for a local company that harvested cultured pearls. As a parting gift to my husband, he gave him a mabe pearl (pronounced mah-bay) still on the oyster shell. Instead of growing inside the body tissue, as is the case with other pearls, mabe pearls grow against the inside shell causing it to have a flat side. This is done intentionally by the pearl farmer so as to make the pearl more secure in a jewelry setting. Once harvested, the mabe pearl is cut away from the shell, filled with resin, and then a piece of mother of pearl is glued to the back as a finish.
In certain circles, there are some who think that because the mabe pearl is not spherical, and because it requires more of the intervention and work of man, it is not a real pearl. But it is. The process of defending the soft tissues against parasites and damaging debris by entombing them in successive layers of nacre (the material pearls are made from) doesn’t change just because the shape is different.
Sometimes we are faced with situations where we need the help of modern medicine and an extra set or two of caring hands to get us through the days. There might be some who would whisper then that we are somehow less of a person. I believe that not to be true. The divine and heavenly substance that is in the soul of every human being does not change just because our circumstances might. Never forget that like the pearl, we can still shine with iridescence from within.