THE WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN
The Preacher's Wife

Diamonds And Rings

Funny how important a little thing like a ring can be.. I never wanted an engagement ring, although Clyde really wanted to give me one. My own mother had only worn a slim gold band and to me it was THE symbol of marriage commitment.

I never wanted a diamond wedding band. SO I won the "argument" and we exchanged simple gold bands at our wedding. BUT on our first Christmas there was a small jeweler's box and a sealed envelope under the tree . Inside the box was a small solitaire diamond engagement ring. The letter in the envelope was a beautiful love letter . I sat and cried. (Why do we cry at the happiest times??) Of course I loved the ring and wore it with my gold band proudly..the simple single stone was also a commitment of ONE.

Well, story continues. About four years later I was rushing through supper clean-up in order to get to WMU (Women's Missionary Union) meeting. Of course, as I so often am, I was a bit late so sat on the back row,catching my breath. About half way through meeting I happened to glance down at my hands and an empty hole stared up at me from my engagement ring. My heart almost stopped beating and I had to force myself to sit through the rest of the meeting. At that time we lived next door to the church so I rushed home as soon as I could get away . frantically looking for a flashlight. I just knew I had lost the diamond on the short space between home and church. Trying to calm me, Clyde took the flashlight and we searched and searched for the lost diamond but realized it was a hopeless task at night. EARLY next morning we were out practically on our hands and knees and covered every step I had walked between the house and the church pew. Then we re-searched (Is that where the word research comes from??) every imaginable place in the house, but to no avail.

Brokenhearted, I had to accept the fact that my diamond was gone forever "where all good diamonds go...." We finally decided that in my rush I hadn't removed my ring before washing dishes and had knocked it loose and it had gone un-noticed down the drain with the dishwater when I removed the sink "plug" Clyde tried to comfort me with the promise of another larger, more beautiful ring, even a new set. But I refused. To me there was only one REAL engagement ring and I didn't want a substitute.. Then he begged to have it reset with a much larger stone but again I refused..same reason.. Another stone would just make it another ring..the simple solitaire had been the symbol of our "once-in-OUR-lifetime" commitment to each other. So, I put my ring back in it's original box (of course I had kept the box..didn't you??) and placed it in the back of my jewelry drawer.

In the years since then, Clyde has bought me MANY beautiful rings and I love them all and love him for his continuing pledge of love and the unfulfilled desire to fill the void left by that small but precious diamond I lost long ago. Maybe one day, one of my grandchildren will want to have Granny's ring reset to be worn or given as a pledge of their "Once- in- a-Lifetime" love and commitment to that special person who will come into their life. . Probably not... Surely, each young couple wants their very own expression of promise and devotion.

Perhaps the Lord had a beautiful secret..one of HIS diamonds... for me to discover as time has passed. Life has a way of stealing precious irreplaceable things and people from us leaving unseen voids and spaces and gaps in our hearts. But we have the golden memories- untainted, undimmed, unbroken- that time cannot erase. And just like the many beautiful rings Clyde has given me in the years we have shared together , the Lord sees those empty places in our hearts and so sweetly fills them with extravagant gifts of His continuing love. And He attaches a love-note and promise of His everlasting love and presence..

"LO. I AM WITH YOU.ALWAYS."

all rights.Ruth Martin.9/16/03

WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN

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