Last December, I wrote about my new necklace. I wanted this necklace for one reason and one reason only: so that every time my fingers ran across it in the course of a day, I would remember that I am absolutely loved.
For the first few weeks, I took it off only to shower. And only then because having not really had any precious jewelry (and ok, this isn't that precious, either; it's what you can get at a JCPenney clearance sale on a limited budget, but it's precious in other ways), I was afraid the water from the shower might somehow damage the finish.
Then I started just leaving it on. Through work and showers and sleeping and whatever else came my way, and it's been months since I've unclasped this chain.
And you know, this necklace works. It does just what I wanted it to do: I'm a fidgeter and every time my fingers run over these little hearts, I unconsciously smile. It just happens. The thought and the peace that I. am. loved. washes over me, and everything is ok - whether it already was or hadn't been in awhile.
Do you know how cool that is? To know how deeply you are loved? It changes the way you live. It reminds me to live loved.
Now, the problem is that in case you don't know this about me, I can tend to be very anal. Obsessive. Perfectionistic. So imagine my dismay when my hand ran across this little jewel about a month ago and I looked down to discover how tarnished it has so quickly become. The silver is stripping away to this bronze-ish tone fading in and out around the shape of these two hearts.
I had to figure out how to clean it.
Thank heavens for the internet, which had some great suggestions on un-tarnishing silver. I found out how to do it (for those of you wondering, a tsp of baking soda and a tsp of salt in warm water in an aluminum pan, then let your jewelry soak for about 15 minutes) and pledged that the next time I was washing the dishes, I would take that time to take better care of this necklace.
A week passed. Two weeks passed. I wash the dishes every day. I kept thinking how much I needed to clean this thing, then letting the best opportunities slip by. Then suddenly, I remembered right when I was starting to run the dishwater, and I held the pendant in my fingers again and for a moment, smiled, then washed the dishes anyway. This doesn't need cleaned.
|My heart hangs on His.|
I kind of like the way it's tarnished, the way it's showing age. The way that when I look at it, I see kind of where it's been with me and what it's meant through long days and days that weren't long enough. I keep coming back to this image because I like it so much - but it's kind of like an old worn-out Bible that you know someone has loved well over the years. This tarnish gives me that.
I like the way things age, the way they show their wear over time. Just like I do. The way not everything has to be perfect and clean and pristine. The way you can absolutely clean it up, sure, but suddenly you feel no pretense about it and you wouldn't even want it new again. If you wash it all up, wring it out, let it dry, and polish it...I don't know. It just feels like you have to start breaking it in all over again or else you're spending the rest of your life crouched over cleaning because you started it one day and now you can't stop. You can really get caught up in the idol of it if you go about it that way. That's not what this is for.
So the thing is this. When I happen to run my fingers over this simple silver, I still feel instantly, absolutely, incredibly loved. Just as I had hoped it would serve my heart in remembering. But there's something else. The more it gets tarnished, the more powerful its touch until I feel like I'm touching eternity. A timeless love with a timeless God who has loved me forever and will forevermore.
Do you know how cool that is? I couldn't have imagined.