The red leather cube barely fills my palm. Its worn edges hint at its age. I push the tiny metal button and lift the lid with excitement having a general idea of what’s inside. The inner lining of the lid tells me of its origins: H.A. Jepsen Jeweler; Petaluma, Calif.—the birthplace of my mother and her mother before her.
Inside, I find two gold rings nestled in silk. One ring is stunning with a large square diamond at its center and two smaller squares of sparkly gems on either side. The other ring is a simple band, but when I turn it I see an inscription:“DGB PEB 17”—the initials of my great-grandparents and the year they were married.
I slip the rings on the fourth finger of my right hand. I think they will be too large, but oh, they fit perfectly! I try to remember how these rings looked on my great-grandmother’s hand. I remember the softness of her wrinkled skin and the scent of roses that stayed with me after our visits, but I do not remember these rings.
I am now the keeper of a set of 100-year-old wedding rings. I do not say ‘owner’, that word doesn’t fit. They are not mine, they belonged to another woman from an era long forgotten. I will hold them and, one day, pass them on to my own children. They are the oldest possessions in my care, and I feel the weight of their history.
Even as I think those words, I know they aren’t true. The Holy Spirit reminds me that I possess a truth much older and much more valuable. I do not know the monetary value of my great-grandmother’s rings but I know truth of the gospel is priceless. Matthew 13:46 tells me the Kingdom of Heaven is like a priceless pearl: “When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (NIV).
The rings on my finger are precious, a treasure I never dreamed would end up in my care. How much more precious is my faith, a gift to me at the great cost of the life of the Son of God? I let my thoughts dwell on that gift and question my heart: How much do I treasure my faith?