“Rejoice with the wife of your youth…and always be enraptured with her love.” Proverbs 5:18,19
My wedding ring was designed on Michigan Avenue in Chicago and picked out just for me, at great expense to my love. It was perfect; so shiny and new! I spent a good amount of time looking at it from different angles while on my hand. I loved it! During the years following our wedding however, my ring was exposed to all the adverse conditions that come with the seasons and activities of life. Whatever my hand was exposed to my ring was exposed to. Although I didn’t purposely abuse it, I took my ring for granted and did not care for it properly. The gold band wore down over time and eventually cracked. The crack occurred on the inside of my hand where it was not seen by others, so I just tried to live with it as is. As life carried on, however, the crack grew to a break. Still I tried to overlook it, but the break would catch my hair as I ran my fingers through it, and snagged my clothing when I was dressing, and often my ring would pinch my skin. Ultimately the irritation and pain made it hard to ignore; I got fed up with it and eventually stopped wearing it and put on a substitute. My ring was no longer the treasure I once considered it to be. I did finally take it to a jewelers to explore my options for getting it fixed. While there I passed rows upon rows of the newer and the shinier. The velvet-covered displays and the strategically positioned lights within the cases provided the most ideal conditions to show each of these more impressive rings’ attributes. I thought to myself, “if I were to pick one out now it would be so different from what I have. I’m sure I’d be much happier if I had one of those on my finger!” With resignation I turned back to my ring and determined to have the diamond reset.
(Two years pass…)
“I have some bad news,” said the nervous voice of the jeweler after having dropped my ring off to get it resized, “while we were working on your ring, the diamond got dropped and unfortunately landed on a weak spot, causing a noticeable chip in your diamond.” What?!? I was well aware that my diamond was not perfect; that it had flaws; but aren’t diamonds considered a standard of strength? I understand chipping a glass, or a nail or even a tooth, but a diamond? The jeweler proceeded to lay out my options: they would either replace my diamond with a new one or they would recut my existing one in a way that would remove most of the damage, but unavoidably making it a little smaller. Initially I considered it an easy decision “Yes, I want something new”; however as I hovered over some particularly brilliant stones, I was informed that it would cost me more to have those, as they were considered to be of higher value than what my original stone had been. A bit disheartened I asked them to point me to the ones that would be of equal value. The prospects were unimpressive. Not only were my expectations not met with what I had to choose from, but I also learned I’d have to surrender my original stone. Unable to make a decision just then, I left the jewelers very discouraged; there were more costs associated with getting a new stone than I had anticipated. After a few days of tossing my options back and forth, I decided to keep what I had and gave the okay for the work to begin to restore what was damaged.
The gem cutter started by precisely cutting the stone just enough to remove the chip, yet keeping in mind the shape, balance, and brilliance of the gem as a whole. Next, the diamond was polished, smoothing the rough edges and then cleaned to remove residue and dirt. The diamond was then VERY carefully set back in place with additional prongs to protect the areas of vulnerability. The band was finally resized to fit comfortably on my finger yet was no longer at risk of accidentally coming off.
Although the break prompted me to get a new band and part of the gem was lost due the fall and subsequent reshaping, the whole piece has now been made stronger for it. The experiences my ring has endured did change the look of it a bit, but I have a fresh appreciation for it and find myself admiring it again…in a different light. I am very glad I chose to keep the original.
“Thank you gracious Lord for the persevering and preserving work you have done in our marriage. You are so good and greatly to be praised!”