Wednesday, March 13, 2013

my column on the Brooklyn Teen Challenge e-magazine

The Pearl of Great Price

- Words and Wisdom from a Modern Day Mary Magdalene, by Mariah N. Tramonto

Some of you may know me as Brother Don Wilkerson’s assistant, some know me as a missionary, others may know me as a sold out Jesus freak, or as a school of ministry graduate, and as a Walter Hoving Home graduate.  Still others know me as a dancer, a poet, a dreamer, a visionary, a lover of children or as an old lady because I go to bed so early and drink tea at 8pm every night.  But do you know me as an i.v. heroin user?  A crack addict?  A mentally ill suicidal mess?  A prostitute? Do you look at me and think I am a worthless, hopeless human being?  When I was all of these things, God saw through that ugliness and saw my true worth.  His love has so pierced my soul that it is my responsibility to tell others of His redemptive power, His everlasting love… His goodness… His mercy.

There are a lot of new things God is doing in this season within each of us.  One of which I believe is across the board for all of us, in that He is trying to communicate to us His full acceptance of our condition in new ways.  I think the church as a whole is receiving the same message of complete reliance on the Holy Spirit… that we are nothing but a breath in this life… that we need to move out of the way and let God work through us as He so desires.  God is trying to tell us we are fully accepted, fully loved, fully cared for.  We aren’t just loved when we do good things.  We aren’t just accepted when we act normal and aren’t misbehaving.  We are being awakened by the revelation of divine rest and complete peace as we cling to the Cross, our Anchor, our Hope and our Salvation. 

Matthew 13:45-46
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

This parable focuses on the merchant, Jesus, and the thing that sticks out so much is that it is Jesus searching for us.  We are the pearls He is looking for.  I thought it interesting that God is comparing us to pearls- so I looked up the process of pearl creation.  There are mollusks that sit on the bottom of the ocean and when an intruding agent enters the mollusk, the mollusk immediately produces a chemical to form a hardened substance within itself.  As more intruders try to enter the mollusk, more and more chemicals are produced to protect and shield the now forming pearl. 

The pearl represents a vessel that been constantly attacked by intruders but has remained under the protection of the mollusk, or God’s love.  The pearl transforms from nothing into not only something, but something beautiful and of great price.

Intruding spiritual attacks bring about spiritual beauty when we remain under Gods protection and love.

Jesus is using the object of pearls to illustrate our great value.  We ask in our flesh, “how can someone that’s been intruded upon and attacked be worth anything at all?  How am I worth anything?  Doesn’t God see how beaten up I am, how ugly inside I really am?”

The answer is no.  God does not see our ‘ugliness,’ our ‘bruises,’ our ‘scars from intruders’… When He looks at us, He sees beauty. 

He does not see our sin.  He sees love.

The truth is that Jesus not only died for our sins but He sold everything He had- His life- for the most beaten up of us all.  The story of Jesus shows God’s love coming down to earth to save us all.   Jesus also especially came for the ones who have been so attacked and hated on by the world and in fact, He even calls these ones beautiful. 

1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

We are beautiful pearls found by our Merchant, Jesus.  Let us rest today in trusting our Father instead of trusting our self.  Let us find acceptance in the arms of Jesus.  Let us make the choice to walk in our full inheritance today.

1 comment:

  1. You always seem to make a post when I'm feeling particularly scared for my son. You may never know it but I think you give a lot of hope to so many parents of addicts. God bless you for everything you are!