Hope To The End ......... POEMS

The Ballad of the Oyster

There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into its shell.

It was only a grain,
But it gave him great pain;
For oysters have feelings
Although they're so plain.

Now, did he berate
The harsh workings of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?

Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?

No! He said to himself
As he lay on a shell,
"Since I cannot remove it,
I'll try to improve it."

Now the years have rolled by,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral;
For isn't it grand
What an oyster can do
With a small grain of sand?

What couldn't we do
If we'd only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.

Author Unknown
Remember that every pearl got its start irritating an oyster.

See also : The Sand Inside My Soul --- by Elisabeth Snell

Ray Stedman : A Pearl of Great Price
"This is most instructive if you remember how a pearl is made. A pearl, you know, starts out as an irritated oyster!
A grain of sand gets under the oyster's shell. To the oyster, that feels like crackers in bed do to us. It is very uncomfortable, and the oyster sets about getting rid of it. What it does is to cover the irritating grain of sand with a beautiful nacre that hardens into a lustrous and gorgeous pearl. That is how the church was born. It emerges from the wounded side of Jesus.
It was the irritation that we represent by our sinful lives that put Him to death, and He covers it over and heals it,
making it into a beautiful pearl of great value. That is the church. That is what Paul is describing here:
Jesus himself is the beginning of the church.

* * *
Sand and Pearls
Materials:  A String of pearls or pearl earrings 
This morning I have brought a string of pearls. Do you know where pearls come from? They come from oysters.
An oyster is a shellfish that lives in the ocean. They have a very hard shell that protects them,
but sometimes something like a small grain of sand can get inside the shell
and it causes a lot of pain and discomfort for the oyster.

God has given the oyster a way to ease that pain.  When a grain of sand gets in there, the oyster oozes out a liquid that coats the grain of sand and then it hardens. The oyster keeps doing this over and over until the grain of sand no longer causes pain. This is how these pearls are made. Something that started out being painful turned into something very beautiful and valuable.

The same thing happens to us. Sometimes something comes into our life that causes a lot of hurt and pain. When that happens, God gives us something to help ease the pain. He gives us His love. If we ask Him to, He will ooze out His love to ease our pain and suffering. Often what started out to be very painful in our life can turn into something beautiful. 

Dear Lord, we thank You that when we have pain and hurts in our life, You ooze out Your love to ease the pain.
Help us to remember that You can take the most painful hurts in our lives and turn them into something beautiful. Amen

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