Willy and Kathy and Their Bling

(Chatter letter from the editor, May 2011)

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

Prince William and Catherine Middleton just got married, by the way. Just in case you have been living in a deep undersea pod of isolation. Her engagement ring looks very much like the aquamarine ring my grandparents gave me for my 18th birthday, except hers has a sapphire, a sapphire that looks like it may be even just a little bit SMALLER than my aquamarine — if you look at it in the right Hyde-Park sun or in the right tabloid. I like to think Catherine and I could be BFFs what with our blue gems, our brown hair, and the fact we are female and speak English.

All through college, I kept my birthday ring hidden away in my dorm room, or in the desk in my sorority house I shared later with two girls, or in the dresser of the house I had as a senior. I never wore it. I kept it close by, like a secret stash of Twizzlers. Expensive Twizzlers. Friends would ask to see it. I would pull out the box and wait, perhaps for a bell to toll or for a disembodied choral ensemble to sing the Doxology, and then click the lid open.

I wear it more these days. And the more I wear it, the more I wish I had been wearing it all along.

Even though we are technically in the joyful season of Easter and beyond the contemplation of Lent, it doesn’t seem right to box up the beauty of Jesus’ sacrifice. Isaiah tells us our peace with God — our restful state before him and in him as a beloved, forgiven child — came at a costly price. Punishment brought peace, nothing less.

Are you stashing away the greatest gift you own? Living in worry, caught up in distraction, mired in self-obsession? Have peace. Peace is already yours, in a little black box, sitting in velvet, sparkling, bought and paid for. Take it, own it, wear it. Others will wonder where you got such a rare gem, such an incredible freedom of spirit and quiet settled-ness of mind. And you will say from The Prince of Peace, of course, who is greater than any dude from Wales, or even that guy with the purple guitar.


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