the beauty of a pearl (borne out of irritation)…


22/02/2011 by Sarah Ritchie

pearl harvesting Coral World Eilat 2007 Sarah Ritchie

Pearl harvesting, Coral World, Eilat (2007)

A few years ago we visited the tourist attaction Coral World (in Eilat, at the top of the Red Sea). One of the timetabled demonstrations was the opening of an oyster to extract a pearl. It was the first time that I had witnessed this activity and I was determined not to miss it.

The woman quickly and deftly opened the oyster shell to revel the perfectly spherical, iridescent little cultured pearl.

The pearl is not only a natural beauty, but it is wonder how it is produced in the first place. A pearl – be it made with or without man’s intervention – is formed inside of certain mollusk shells as their defense mechanism against a potentially threatening irritant, such as a parasite. Man simply adds the irritant (not usually a grain of sand, by the way!) and the mollusk does the rest!

Not all pearls are round, and not all pearls are white, but all are beautiful, rare, fine, admirable and valuable. You won’t find me wearing a string of them, but you will find me admiring them in their beautiful splendour. You will also find me marveling at how a mollusk can teach us how to turn an irritating situation into one of worth…through patience, time and effort.


4 thoughts on “the beauty of a pearl (borne out of irritation)…

  1. leonabriggs says:

    One of God’s “living” parables!
    This morning I read about the earthquake in New Zealand. I don’t know where you are in NZ, but were you in the midst of it? Are you okay?
    Am praying for New Zealand this morning.

  2. Sarah Ritchie says:

    We are fine, thank you Leona. We didn’t feel the earthquake here in Auckland (top of the North Island), but Christchurch (middle of the South Island) is a mess.

    We have friends who bought a 100+ year old “heritage home” about a year ago…in Lyttelton (where the epicentre of the quake was). The first earthquake, a few months ago, did damage to their house, but they were going to repair it. The one yesterday caused the house to collapse on them, but they escaped unhurt. I am hoping they got their pets out OK.

    We are hearing of fatalities – at least 65 by nightfall last night, but the death toll is rising. There are urban search and rescue teams coming from Australia and the US, which is fantastic. Even Israel has offered their services to help us (not surprised there).

    The last devastating earthquake to hit NZ was back in the 1930s, so most folks today don’t know much about how to handle Civil Defense emergencies like this.

    We were watching the live news coverage for hours last night and it is unbelievable the devastation. New Zealand is just not used to things like this, but we know that we will see more and more similar global events in the coming time. Even though we are not surprised, it is still horrible to watch it in your own backyard.

    Thank you for your prayers. They are very, very welcome.

  3. leonabriggs says:

    Oh, I am so glad to hear from you today! I posted a prayer request for the people of NZ and you and your husband on facebbook!
    We will continue to pray for your country.

  4. Sarah Ritchie says:

    Thank you Leona. Prayer will cut through the miles and make a huge difference.

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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
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