Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.
‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
The interesting thing about pearls - as most people would know - is that
they are formed from the oysters desire to protect itself. Pearls are the only precious stones formed by a living creature - formed out of pain - formed out of patience - formed out of fortitude.
It is so hard for us to do the same - to take our hurts; regrets; injuries that we receive and to turn them into precious stones. It takes time and willingness and layers and layers of Grace to be able to say 'I own this hurt - it doesn't own me.' Then, like oysters we hold those pearls within us as symbols of our faith that we are not defined by what is forced upon us.
As we move through life there is always the temptation to feel that we have taken enough. Sometimes it seems as though there is no other way - why not just join in the world-view that there is no point; there is always someone to blame; that we deserve more; that there must be a way around; that the majority does rule.
Then we take the risk of undoing all that we have done - throwing away the Grace that we have received for the sake of gossip; retribution or justification.
It's an easy temptation; a human one but one we have to try to avoid.
It means something that Jesus walks everywhere - walk or sail. And that walking takes him off the highway, through fields and skirting villages and towns - that sailing takes him into storms and meetings in cities of the dead. Surely his storytelling could have found passage with the merchants of the Trade routes; the caravans of pilgrims; the barges of traders. Surely sometimes he must have thought that he deserved an easy ride - or maybe not?
The easy ride; the wide road; the open gate teaches us nothing; we do not grow in Grace; we do not learn to persevere.We don't get to meet the others that are on the hard road or the narrow path who may need our help as often we will need theirs.
Take care of your pearls - they are your treasure and your breastplate.