Kelly Hayes told this story during chapel one day at Csehy… and the other day I was thinking about it again, especially with thoughts on fear being triggered again at the conference after talking about suffering in small groups.
There’s a story about a little girl and her dad who went to the dollar store one day. As they were leaving, she saw a beautiful plastic pearl necklace. Every week she would work hard at home and save what she earned until finally she had enough to get the plastic pearls.
When she has saved up enough, she and her dad go back to the dollar store and buy the plastic pearls. Her father puts them on her, and she wore them everywhere, to school, at home, to Church. People began to know her as “the little girl with the pearls.”
One night after praying with Stephanie and tucking her into bed, her father asks her,
“Do you love me?”
“Oh yes, I love you Daddy.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“No, daddy, I can’t do that.”
The very next night, after praying for his daughter and tucking her into bed, he asks her,
“Do you trust me?”
“I trust you Daddy.”
“Then will you give me your pearls? I know you love them but may I have them?”
“No Daddy! Please don’t ask me to give you my pearls.”
This went on for many nights, and each night she refused.
Then one night, her father walked into her room to find her on the bed, sobbing, her fist clenched tightly. He kneels by her bed, and she opens her hand.
“Here, daddy.” She drops the plastic pearls onto his hand.
“Thank you, honey. I love you.” Then he takes a box out of his pocket and hands it to his daughter. She opens it, and her daddy takes out a real pearl necklace. “I love you, sweetie.” He puts the necklace on her and she beams.
Kelly told it a lot better than I just wrote it out, but you get the basic idea…
what are the plastic pearls you’re holding onto?
I drew a bunch of pearls on a piece of paper once and wrote the things I tend to hold back from God on them, then I prayed that He’d take them all away and replace them with great joy and a firmer foundation in my life.
Don’t waste your life holding on to cheap, plastic things that will melt and fade away.
Give them up to God; He’ll replace them with great joy…