As I travel internationally, I am always on the lookout for bead stores. And I am especially scouting out antique beads. I buy them and make jewellery.
Last spring in a quaint, off-the-road antique store in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I found ancient amber and silver beads and handcrafted Stars of David. In Israel, I found ancient Roman glass, lapis, smokey topaz, and more silver. In Cyprus, I found red jade and the most unique silver spacers…
I tell myself that I make necklaces and bracelets to sell; but somehow as I travel, it becomes more fun to give them away. People are always interested in one or two special pieces that catch their eyes, and I just can’t sell my creations.
Since many of the beads are antique, I can’t part with some of them either. They are little bits of our travels, little gems of the precious days spent with people from far away places and distant cultures. They bring back wonderful memories. They represent the pain and the joy of what we are spending our lives to do.
I really treasure my bead finds–they encapsulate our destiny. It is kind of fun to pack and carry around a secret pouch of handmade items from various countries that I know I have the liberty to give to some unsuspecting soul.
When I think about beads and collecting gems from around the world, I am reminded of an old hymn I sang to my daughter each night before I tucked her in bed:
When He cometh, when He cometh
to make up His jewels,
precious jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.
Like the stars of the
morning, His bright crown adorning,
they shine in their beauty, His loved
and His own.
Such a beautiful thought: to become God’s jewels, shining like the morning… it’s sort of mind boggling that my life would shine so that it will become a crown for the Lord of Lords.
Right now I feel more like one of the antique beads that I have found in some obscure store… in need of cleaning and polishing… in hopes that someone would spot me and see the value… And the more I walk with Him the more I realize, just how much I must decrease, so that He may increase…