Cultivating her Soul

Sunday was our official launch day here at The Pearl Press. Thank you to all who clicked over to help us kick things off!! Also on Sunday we highlighted the first of our purpose statements for The Pearl Press: Vibrant in Spirit. If you are just joining us (WELCOME! We are crazy excited you are here!!), you can catch up on that post here.

The second phrase in our purpose statement is this,
It was very important to us that this phrase in particular included a verb. We needed it to imply action and motion because those things are necessary for change and growth.

I love the fall. (Here I go talking about it again and finding a way to fit it into a blog post…) I love the crispness in the air and the fashion and mostly the flavors. I love pumpkin and squash and everything about Thanksgiving dinner.

The truth is, pumpkin, my all time favorite flavor, is the result of a very long process. A process that involves hard, dirty, tiring work and a lot of patience and then more hard work. The farmer spends days in the hot sun in his field tilling up the soil and making it ready before he spends more days in the hot sun planting the seeds. He then spends months waiting patiently and carefully watching and caring for his seeds and the soil that he planted them in. He pays attention to the weather and takes precautions to guard his land from animals and other harmful things. He waits and waits and waits, hoping and praying to yield a good crop, quietly rejoicing with each little burst of green he sees in his fields. And all the while he is planning ahead for all that needs to be done when his crops are finally ready. How will he harvest them? How will he steward them once he does?

Once the fields are full with a ripe harvest, he is in for more hard work. Now he must uproot them and care for them more. He must learn how to help them thrive outside of the soil they grew in and keep them healthy in order to sell them and make his profit. There are phone calls and business deals and days spent in markets trying to sell the crop that he just grew and harvested. He must cultivate the soil, cultivate the crops, and in the end cultivate his harvest and his profit. None of it comes easily. But the results to him are always worth it. I know the benefits that I reap every autumn from all of his hard work certainly makes it worth it to me!

But, there is a very good reason why Jesus refers to seeds and all things farming time and time again. Sure it is because he was trying to relate to his audience on a very real and personal level, but I think it is also because the imagery of a farmer, his work, and his crops are all timeless and vivid, and so easy to grasp. I think He knew it would resonate with every generation.

We wear lovely strings of them daintily around our necks. We adorn our outfits with a simple pair of pearl earrings when we are going for a chic and classic look. We love them for their simplicity, their purity, and their elegance. We pay good money for them and people try endlessly to recreate and copy the real thing because to have the real deal is so costly.

They are so costly because the process and the journey to become a pearl is so hard and difficult.

For long periods of time oysters are irritated with a little grain of sand. One that gets inside of them and rubs and rubs and rubs in the most painful and uncomfortable ways. Of course they don’t know in those painful, uncomfortable moments that they are creating gems of rare and precious quality, they only know the hurt in the moment. After all of this, someone has to come along and uncover the results of this process. Someone has to be willing to dive deep into the ocean in hopes of uncovering these beautiful pearls. Someone has to cultivate the ocean, the oysters, the pearls. It is the same with our souls.

The key word in both of these images is cultivate.
Just as I can only enjoy a piece of warm pumpkin pie because a farmer was willing to do all of the hard work to bring that flavor to my table, and I am only able to wear an elegant string of pearls because someone dove to the bottom of the ocean to uncover them, I will only have a soul of sweetness and of great value if I am willing to do the work it takes to cultivate it.

And what's more, cultivation is a continual process. As soon as the farmer harvests the crops, he immediately turns over the soil and begins the hard work all over again so that he can yield another crop next year. A diver plunges day after day into the deep in order to keep uncovering precious gems to sell and make a profit. This is why the word you see in our purpose statement is "cultivating." It is active. It is in motion. It is continual.

Cultivating our souls is an active, endless process. We will never arrive. We will collect pearls and crops along the way, but there will always be more soil to till, more seeds to plant, more crops to uproot. There will forever be grains of sand irritating different areas of our lives. We will need to dive into deeper and darker spaces in our hearts in order to uncover the pearls that are hidden there. Sometimes it will be exhausting and hard. But always it will be rewarding. Always we will discover beauty beneath the pressure if we will do the work it requires to find it.

1 comment

  1. "Always we will discover beauty beneath the pressure if we will do the work it requires to find it."
    This is so good! Allowing God to transform us is hard work. Its so easy to forget that it's worth it when things get hard. Thank you for the reminder, Rach!


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