"Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it."
Pearls are formed when an irritation enters the inner space of an oyster. The oyster secretes a fluid. The coating accumulates in layers around the irritant. Over time a pearl is formed. The longer the irritating substance is in the oyster the more layers are excreted. The more layers excreted, the larger and usually more perfect the pearl becomes.The largest, most symmetrical pearls are the most rare and most highly valued.
Hmmm... isn't that interesting? To help us understand more about the kingdom of God, Jesus uses the metaphor of something initially irritating that is used by God to create beauty, treasure, rarity.
What does that say about the way we consider the irritations that enter our lives?
What is possible if we look at what pricks or pulls at our peace of mind or heart as a place that can be surrounded by God's grace? God's love enfolds all that we experience in a truth that frees us to respond with clear, purposeful action. What was initially painful can evolve into strength and wisdom that transforms not only our lives but also our relationships with all we encounter.
Might there be precious pearls in the making? Rather than avoiding or resisting people or situations that are irritating, perhaps we can approach them with the faith that they are the places where deeper compassion or wisdom can emerge.
Look again at those irritations. They may be the sites where Kingdom treasures are being formed.