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The Pearls

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!"

The mother checked the price and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl.

"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you, and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores. Then she went to the neighbor and asked if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her a new dollar bill, and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?" "Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls."

"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."

"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls."

"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful, and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."

"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." As always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and a silent tear rolled down her cheek.

"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her hand up to her daddy.

When she opened it, there was her pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

So like our heavenly Father. What are you hanging on to?

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