Jewelry used to be as important to me as clothing. There are rules that people should wear clothes. I had a rule that I had to adorn each outfit with jewelry. I wore it all – earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, even anklets and toe rings. The toe rings were uncomfortable so I didn’t do it that often. I loved my jewelry.
After years of skipping jewelry, I have slowly started to add more pieces to each outfit. Some days I am more sparkly than others. Sundays are usually extra sparkly days. Today was no exception. I put on one of my favorite necklaces. It’s a silver heart, artistically crooked, with diamonds lining one side. Heath bought it for me at Disneyland.
I was concerned that the necklace was a mistake. I was wearing a button down shirt with a collar. The necklace was sitting in a weird place. I had tried on a few necklaces and none of them were working. The chain for the heart necklace was just long enough. The chain is also a pain in the butt to clasp. Since I was on the fence about wearing a necklace at all with the shirt I decided if I couldn’t close the clasp easily I would skip the necklace. Two quick tries and the necklace was on. Heath assured me it looked fine. I kind of expected him to talk me out of it. The necklace stayed on and we left for church.
We had a lot of stuff to pack into the van and then carry into the building. I had walked between the Primary room and the closet once or twice before I noticed the worst sight. What looked like something hanging from the front of my shirt turned out to be part of the chain hanging as if it were broken. Nope, just unclasped. The heart was nowhere to be found. We looked everywhere. We checked all over the house when we got home, including the garage. No heart. My heart is broken. I loved that necklace.
Interestingly enough I heard a great story about silver in Sacrament Meeting. The author is unknown so there are a few different versions online. This one is closest to how the speaker read it.
Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” One lady’s opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.
She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. “But Sir” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes, madam,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knows when the process of purifying is complete when he sees his own image reflected in the silver….
I had never heard the story before. I like the parallels between refining silver and how the Lord refines us in life. Everyone has trials in life. It’s what we signed on for. Trials are how we grow and become the people we are meant to become. If life were easy we would never reach our full potential for all the same reasons why you don’t help a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. When life is most difficult and feels like we are in a fiery furnace, it is comforting to know the Lord is there. My experience is that when the furnace is hottest that’s when the Lord reminds me most often that He’s still there. Or at least I recognize His hand in my life most at those times. He does it that way to remind me that He will never break me. I may feel like my trials are more than I can bear but He knows. He will take me to the edge but never beyond. Just like the silversmith. He sits and watches intently, ready to step in when needed. And in the end I am properly refined when I reflect the Lord in my countenance. What a wonderful reminder.
What does this have to do with my missing heart? Absolutely nothing. Sometimes sad things just happen. There is no takeaway. Parker did suggest I pray about it. He said he lost something once and after praying he was able to find it. He had lost a stuffed monkey half his size. I’m not sure how he lost it in the first place! Heath suggested I ask for donations to get back to Disneyland for a replacement. I don’t need that. I really don’t want a replacement. I just want the original back.
Probably the lesson with the lost necklace is that some things are more important than things. Vanity is unflattering. Especially when the necklace was fashionably inappropriate to begin with. But refining silver reminds me that I have a Savior who loves me and knows I’m bummed about my own stupidity. It also reminds me that sometimes He gives us the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead and sometimes He gives us the miracle of being there as a comfort. Both are miracles and both prove how much He loves us. The fact that He doesn’t always raise Lazarus from the dead, so to speak, shows how much He understands the type of refinement we need.
As much as I would love to have the heart back, I don’t expect it. Eventually I will move on. I am prepared to live without the miracle of finding it. I think.