“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46
I am a storyteller in a Godly Play classroom at my church. One of the things I love about Godly Play is that rather than the adults telling the children what the stories in scripture mean, we invite them to wonder about the stories, and explore what the Spirit is teaching them directly. It is a wonderful way to worship, and often I am astounded with the depth of what I learn by being with the children and the stories in this way.
A few weeks ago I told the parable of the Great Pearl from the above verses in Matthew. It is, I think, the shortest of all of the stories I tell in Godly Play. It takes a little while, because while I tell it I move the merchant as he seeks the pearl, and when he finds it, I move EVERYTHING HE HAS (all of his possessions, including his house) so he can trade it all for the pearl.
As we wondered about the story, I heard what I had been taught as a child about this parable.
I wonder who the merchant could really be? “I think it is me. I think it’s Christians. I think it’s people looking for God.”
I wonder what the pearl might really be? “It’s God. It’s Jesus. It’s heaven. It’s being saved.”
And then, a quiet little voice said “I think it might be me.” And that parable all of a sudden got turned upside down.
What if *I* am the great pearl… so valuable, so desired by Christ, that he would (he DID!) give everything for me? What if my child… with his lack of perfection (like my own), his *dis* ability (like my own), his “special needs” (like my own) is the great pearl? (He IS!!)
Oh, what a remarkable truth I was given this day, what wisdom from a child.