Anyone who followed the TV series, The Crown, or who is an anglophile knows Queen Elizabeth most frequently wears a necklace of three pearl strands, given to her when she was 25 by her father.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore pearls of all lengths and three strands look-alikes continue to be marketed with her image and name.
Barbara Bush famously wore a necklace proudly described as “fake.”
Pearls appeal to the sophisticates and those who dress in goth, young and old, and across all ethnicities.
In December of 2020, Hope Aloaye created a Facebook group now known as “United by Pearls.” She sees pearls as an expression of female strength and encouraged women to join this group and wear pearls in celebration of Kamala Harris’ inauguration in January.
The love of pearls and desire to connect spread within weeks with 300,000 women in the group on the inauguration and today it attracted over half a million.
The second week I was here, a woman walked past my office, noticed my pearls, smiled, and pointed to her own strand. We had an unspoken connection.
In this Facebook group, women post photos of sorts wearing pearls.
They mark birthdays, anniversaries, multiple generations, legacy gifts, and with vulnerability their milestones of cancer treatments, transplants, or other life-threatening challenges. Each day, I’ll see prayer requests accompanied by photos that have been liked by thousands, implying prayers rising.
A common piece of jewelry connects us with the higher ideals of being there for one another in prayer, with compassion, and grace.
I mention this as we travel through the Lenten sermon series and devotional inspired by Jill Duffield’s book, Lent in Plain Sight: A Devotion Through Ten Objects. This Lent we strive to experience the divine through what we might consider common or ordinary.
On Sunday, we will look to the cross. A symbol often adorning us in jewelry or body art. A symbol through the ages connecting us to one another in humility and to the strength of God.
See you in worship on Sunday.