I have always loved the parable of the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44-46). If you have traveled to the third world and have seen poverty, true poverty, than it is easy to envision a person finding a treasure in an empty field that is so valuable that he sells every single thing he has to possess it. The pearl is a metaphor for the kingdom of heaven, an invisible yet powerful kingdom (what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal…2 Cor. 4:18). And somehow, it seems natural to find this unseen kingdom in an open field without the many distractions surrounding us in our wealthy and overindulgent first world.
What feels less likely, is finding this pearl amidst the wealth and materialism that screams for our attention. It wouldn’t even have to be buried in the ground for us to miss it. It might even be displayed on a shelf, yet it is surrounded by other objects of beauty and its value is less obvious. Perhaps this is how I missed it? Maybe I wore my faith around my neck as a sort of charm, but I also wore other charms of equal or more value to me. These addictions overshadowed my faith and ruled my life.
Jesus described this spiritual condition “as having eyes but not seeing, and having ears yet not hearing.” The road to comprehension can be a painful one, at least it was for me, but this pearl is really worth every single thing we have. What I would like to share (with anyone who will listen) is my journey to redemption…and how God opened my mind (and heart) so that I could finally understand the gospel. (Luke 24:45)