Her stomach had knots in it as she strode down the street of Philadelphia. She was alone, without her four children, and her husband was at work. He worked so hard and so long without complaint. Maybe what she was about to do would ease the burden just a little bit. Her thumb impulsively twirled the diamond ring on her left hand, like it had done for the past ten years, and she remembered the day he proposed. After a silly argument the previous night, they were standing on their special rock in the middle of a stream. He had the ring in his pocket. His plan of proposing on the rock was thwarted when it began to rain. So they ran over slippery rocks to some shelter, where he popped the question. The argument from the night before faded into forgetfulness. Never had she seen anything so gorgeous. So much hard work and saving had gone into it, and she wore it with an incredible sense of awe. It was square, just like she had hoped it would be. The way it sparkled made her think of the brilliant stars in the African sky of her childhood.
She stepped into the doorway of the first shop on Jewelers Row. It was where her ring was first bought. She nervously took it off her finger and asked the jeweler if he would buy it back. A feeling of relief swept over her when he said he wouldn’t. Then just as quickly, the knot formed again when he pointed her to another shop that might.
She gulped past the lump which was forming in her throat now and walked back onto the city streets. What would he say when she told him? The man of her dreams, who worked so hard for their family. She had already sold her favorite camera he had given her their first year of marriage. And almost anything else she could get her hands on to help contribute to their ever growing family. He wouldn’t yell at her, she knew. He loved her far more than any material possession they owned. Yet, what would be his reaction? She had been thinking about this for a long time, and hated to think about how he might feel. So she didn’t think. She walked straight into the second shop and held up her ring.
How much is it worth? She asked, knowing the answer they gave her wouldn’t match what was her heart was screaming back in answer. Three-hundred dollars, he was telling her, while her mind kept saying: Priceless.
Three hundred-dollar bills. They would buy groceries for the next month. They would take a small load from her husband’s shoulders. But they would swiftly disappear, and she would stare at her naked finger for years to come. She thanked the man and walked out onto the street. Her heart was pounding. She didn’t know how God would provide for them that week, but she knew she had made the right decision. Tears streamed down her cheeks, as the glorious reminder of sacrificial love sparkled back at her from her left hand.
That young bride? She still wears the ring with much gratefulness. That young bride is me.