BALANCING ACT:   Diamond in the rough

Staff writer

The end of my coat sleeve caught roughly on my left hand ring finger as I was driving home from work one evening last week. I jiggled my hand out of the sleeve and was stunned to see the diamond missing from the middle of my wedding ring. No! How could I have lost something so important, especially at this time of year — just before Christmas!

Jewelry has never been that important to me. I don’t believe every kiss begins with Kay, and I will probably never step foot inside Jared’s Galleria of Jewelry unless they start carrying cowboy boots or registered dairy goats (my preferred choice of gifts, if asked).

At one time, I had pierced ears, but since I rarely wore earrings (they tended to snag my chore hats at home), the holes grew shut. I am not even sure when that happened, it wasn’t a big deal.

I used to wear necklaces when my children were little, mainly because it was a great way to entertain them during church services or school programs where they were supposed to sit quietly on my lap. But now that they are grown, my jewelry box in the bathroom sits mostly empty.

For the past 24 years however, I have never been without my wedding ring. It is more a part of my hand than a piece of jewelry, literally. My fingers have swollen a bit over the years and I could not take the band off if I wanted too.

However, as I looked into that dark pronged chasm which used to hold my wedding ring diamond, I felt a great loss, such sadness, a sense of hopelessness. What were the chances of ever finding it again when I did not really even know when or where I had lost it?

I dreaded telling my husband about the loss at home. Struggles have been aplenty for us this year, overwhelming at times. To add this on top, well I was greatly distressed.

To my surprise, he was not angry. Instead, he picked up a flashlight and asked exactly what route I took from the truck to the house when I got home, and he went outside.

What a waste of time, I thought! There is no way of telling where I lost my diamond. I had already searched the truck thoroughly. I checked my clothing, turned my coat inside out. As far as I was concerned, the diamond was gone, done deal.

A long quiet hour went by. I thought about praying about it, but I was sure God was very busy with the poor families in Connecticut on this night. They had suffered terrible losses earlier in the day because of an elementary school shooting. Besides, my ring, my diamond, was just a materialistic rock that someone decided had value. Losing my diamond did not mean I had lost my marriage, my family, everything that really meant something to me.

Still, I was sad, and as the evening hours wore on, I began to get irritated. I called out the door halfheartedly, wondering what my husband was doing. I saw him on hands and knees on the driveway, flashing his light back and forth. Why didn’t he just give up and come in? It was cold out. I just wanted to go to bed and forget about the ring, the world, the Christmas season.

I turned off all the lights except those on the Christmas tree and threw another log on the fire for the night. Then I heard footsteps on the porch and he came back in.

My husband did not say anything at first, just put his flashlight down on the cabinet and then tried to put his hands somewhere on my body to get warm. I figured he must have given up on the ring.

But with a sparkle in his eye, he asked for my hand, and dropped into it the small, glittering, jewel that was missing from my wedding ring.

It seems a diamond glitters like nothing else in total darkness, especially when a light shines on it. Though my lost diamond was nestled amongst millions of rocks on our driveway, and at the end of my route from truck to house spanning about 20 feet, my husband’s determination to keep looking netted a joyful discovery.

It was a miracle as far as I am considered, and a message from God about Christmas. Even when all hope is lost, a light shining in the darkness can bring about great joy.

 

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