My friend with a pearl necklace

The only thing better than a water baptism service is a spontaneous water baptism service. I remember so vividly one of the ladies who made the decision that day. She was sooooo beautiful, had an awesome glow about her and she wore a pearl necklace. Of course I’d noticed the pearl necklace right? I didn’t see her at all after that day.

A couple months after that I saw her again. She must have thought that I was crazy. I got her attention (probably hugged her) and told her she was missed. That day Sonya told me she was battling cancer so it would probably be a while until I saw her again.

What do I even say that could be of any encouragement? Although she moved away from Aurora to be closer to family support, we’ve kept in touch mostly through Facebook and some texting. Every time I see a photo of her she still has that same glow that I noticed the very first time that I saw her.

Yesterday, I was just chatting with friends after church and I saw her coming towards the front. I literally dropped my bag and ran to meet her to give her the biggest hug. As I got closer to her…same glow, same beautiful smile.

My friend has stage 4 cancer. Yet, you wouldn’t be able to tell. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my first association with her was that of a pearl necklace. A pearl is formed when an irritant enters into an oyster’s shell and the oyster secretes a substance to protect itself. Layer by layer the oyster keeps secreting a silky crystalline substance until the irritant is completely covered and a pearl is formed.

Despite the irritant that’s in Sonya’s body, like a pearl necklace, she’s beautiful and glows. I may never know how that irritant affects her day-to-day, but from the looks of it she’s not about to let it dull her shine or her sparkle.

What’s your story? What’s the irritant that you face? Are you controlling that irritant or are you letting it control you?

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