An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 13:45-46 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England By Phillip Medhurst (Photo by Harry Kossuth) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons
[Jesus said to his disciples,] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” Matthew 13:45-46
That which we long to find is what prompts us to search: God’s love deep in our hearts, the pearl that has no price because it is beyond our ability to value.
The finding is in the searching and the searching is in the finding. And so we give up selfishness and self-pity, greed and resentment, fear and prejudice—and we find Love.
Millet, Jean François, 1814-1875 The Sower, ca. 1865-1866 black conté crayon and pastel on paper Clark Art Institute Williamstown, MA
[And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:] “But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” Matthew 13:23
Today is a bad pain day. It is taking most of my energy to breathe. The soil I have to offer the Lord feels stony, weed-infested, and prickly with thorns. How can I hope to bear any fruit at all?
By letting go of self-pity, self-judgment, self-loathing and opening my mouth to say the one Word that heals: Jesus.
James Tissot (1836-1902) Jésus engage les apôtres à se reposer (Jesus Commands the Apostles to Rest) between 1886 and 1894 opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper Brooklyn Musuem
[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
I know some days I am heavy with pain, fatigue, and discouragement. I know others carry heavy responsibilities, grief, and stress. I know the world is heavy with violence, racism, and injustice.
I don’t know how to heal the heaviness. But Jesus does. I will practice turning my attention to Jesus. I will trust him with my burdens, the burdens of others, and the world’s burdens. I will rest from my tendency to do-it-myself and let Jesus help me through the day.