Monday, April 21, 2008

The Pearl of Africa

So our oldest daughter hijacked my blog and decided to become my comment posting fan. Nerd. Yesterday on our way home her nose was running and after many miles of the annoyance, and digging through my purse she said, "can't i just stick a tampon up it?" Oh child.

And so we had a good weekend. Beautiful weather. We visited a church in Independence MO, the pastor is a really great guy. He talked about the Jewish heritage that we as believers have been grafted into. Good stuff. Did you know that if you graft an apple tree branch onto an olive tree, the branch will bare both olives and apples. Cool eh? We met the pastor years ago at a retreat. He has really taught me that in order to live fully where God has intended you to, you have to be yourself. And so, he is really transparent and passionate.

The church was in an old warehouse. Which was really interesting in itself because it had a million or so garage doors down the side. But as i sat there, I found myself again, in Africa.
It occurred to me that Uganda is called the pearl of Africa.

From Wikipedia:
Natural pearls are nearly 100% nacre. It is thought that natural pearls form under a set of accidental conditions when a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a bivalve mollusk, and settles inside the shell. The mollusk, being irritated by the intruder, secretes the calcium carbonate substance called nacre to cover the irritant. This secretion process is repeated many times, thus producing a pearl. Natural pearls come in many shapes, with round ones being comparatively rare.

In other words, outwardly you have no idea that hidden in this shell. Something beautiful is formed from nothing, something that is priceless. Something this world in all it's power can not replicate.

I have wore a little fake pearl since a girls retreat last summer. We made them to symbolized the value and worth which we hold in God's eyes. How we so often sell ourselves out for things so much less than that value. How God takes our hurts and turns them into something glorious. The process is so much greater than the process.

What does God value? Can I pretend to know all the ways that he works within each of us, when even a simple clam is really a mystery? And yet I don't believe it coincidence that this invisible country is called the pearl of Africa.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

The tampon idea is not bad...except it would need to be really tiny...unless she has enormous nostrils :)

Beefy said...

Mel, how exciting and scary all at the same time! :) No, it's not coincidence. Amazing....

Angela said...

You're here! I was looking for your blog.
I love you.

Michelle Gibilisco said...

Tampons in the nose, nice! I love it! haha!

ann said...

I LOVE the connection you made with pearls and Uganda. That was really touching. Every time I'd read one of your posts on Africa, that Toto song would pop into my mind. But not anymore, now it's Enya's "Storms in Africa" songs.
Anyway, I can't wait till you get there.

And I tagged you guys for a quick meme.

Herbie said...

Do you really have any idea how cool you are? I hope we live at least to 75 so we can look back at our lives and stand in awe of what all happened -or didn't happen!