2006 was a horrible, rotten year. As the holidays rolled around, I was relieved to be leaving that year behind me. For Christmas, the man I later married gave me a new jewelry box, a lovely replacement for the collection of plastic compartmented trays I’d been using to keep my treasures.
I sat on the floor and transferred my baubles from their makeshift storage containers into the beautiful wooden box, fitted with proper drawers, a velvet lining, and rolls to hold rings. It felt peaceful, neatly arranging my things at the end of this year that had brought so much upheaval and displacement. Rich watched me. I knew the look on his face: satisfaction that his gift had brought me joy.
Then I burst into tears. “What’s wrong?” he asked me, with that panicky voice men get when women start to cry.
I held up a small, thin, worn gold band. “This,” I blubbered, unable to push more words through my sobs. He came to me, wrapped his strong arms around me, gently pressed my head to his shoulder. I cried until I’d used up all my tears.
Then I explained. “This was my grandma’s wedding ring,” I began. “’Pa gave it to me after she died.” I took a deep breath, reached for a tissue, blew my nose. “When my cousin got married—Marcie, the one who died—I gave it to her to use. I never saw it again.
“I have no idea how it got back into my jewelry collection. I was sure it had been sold.”
My cousin, my beautiful, precious, cousin, the youngest of us all, had died of a drug overdose. And junkies don’t keep gold rings. They sell them.
They sell everything.
Since that Christmas, I’ve struggled to remember the occasion when that ring was returned to me. My conclusion is that it wasn’t. I am convicted:
The ring’s reappearance is miraculous.
It was revealed to me at bottom of a long, rocky, downhill slide—just when I needed to see that beauty could be restored, that things (people?) that appeared forever lost might be recovered.
Maybe God doesn’t part the Red Sea any more, but He still works miracles.
I should know. I have one in my jewelry box.