I once admired the earrings my friend, Ann, was wearing – they were square, smooth, flat and made of gold. When I remarked how beautiful they were, she replied, “They’re yours!” Ann then proceeded to take them off and put them on my ears! Humbled by her gift, the earrings became a treasure.
Once while wearing them at work, one slipped off my ear – I looked but couldn’t find it, so I wheeled to my office door to ask for help. That’s when I felt a clunk-clunk-clunk. The earring was impaled on my tire; it was ruined!
That weekend I took it to a jeweler and asked, “Sir, can you make this mangled earring look like the smooth one?” He rubbed his chin and said, “I can’t make that one look like this one … But I can make this one look like that one!” He then took a mallet and hammered the smooth, square earring into a mangled mess!
At first I was horrified, but now I realize that the misshapen earrings reflect the light more beautifully than when they were “normal.” It’s a lesson reflected in this timeless poem:
When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man, and skill a man,
When God wants to make a man
To play the noblest part,
When He yearns with all His heart
To build so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Then watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects,
Whom He royally elects;
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into shapes and forms of clay
Which only God can understand
While man’s tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands …
Yet God bends but never breaks
When man’s good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with mighty power, infuses him,
With every act induces him to try
His splendor out,
God knows what He’s about.