A Gift

This past summer, you might remember me mentioning that our house was broken into while we were on vacation.  I had three rings taken from my jewelry box, one of which had belonged to Grandma Faulk, and I was more than a little sad about the loss of that ring because of the sentimentality of it.  I’d worn it on my wedding day and planned on passing it down to Emma one day, given how we’d chosen her middle name with Grandma Faulk in mind.

Anyway, word got out at our church regarding it all, and lots of people were able to sympathize as they’d had break-ins as well.  We got advice on security systems (which we took), and we had many people tell us that they’d let Charlie out to eat intruders (which we sure will). 

Wes came back from his men’s Bible study a couple of days after I discovered the loss and told me, “Ray wants to see you.”  Ray and his wife, Jeanie, are a wonderful couple from our church who have loved our family and gone out of their way to make us feel at home, from our very first day here and even now.  I figured Ray had a word for us regarding security because of his experience in police work, so I went up to the church with Wes where Ray was going to meet us before my ladies’ Bible study, prepared to hear his advice.

Ray did have something for us, but it wasn’t advice on security.  I have been continually amazed by the generosity and kindness of the people in our church, and I will likely never get accustomed to how people go out of their way to bless us.  Ray was no exception that morning, as he came in and told me he was so sorry to hear that I’d lost a ring I’d never be able to replace and that it was awful that someone would steal something like that.  He then pulled some small plastic bags out of his pocket and told me how he’d had this “stuff” lying around his house for years, that they had been something he’d kept from the pawn shop he owned (he’s had a few careers), and that he wanted me to have them.  

I had no idea what he was talking about until he opened up the bags and laid the diamonds out for me.
Yes.  Diamonds.
He told me he was glad to have something to do with them finally and that I should have something nice made for myself.
“Who does that?,” I asked Wes later.  “Who just comes by with bags of diamonds to give away?!” 
“Ray and Jeanie do,” Wes answered.  
That said, I didn’t waste any time because two days post-theft I was a little concerned (okay, so majorly freaked out) about having those diamonds in my possession without physically wearing them, you know?  I told Wes we needed to figure out what we were going to do and do it, the sooner the better, so that I could keep this extravagant gift safe.  He agreed.  
To make a long story short, we went out that very day and got some outrageous quotes from the big name, chain store, custom jewelry guys, then stumbled upon a small, independent place with a jeweler who held my finger in one hand and sketched out the most perfect ring ever with the other hand, muttering to herself about ring size, metal weight, diamond carats, filigree design, and the like before giving us a very reasonable quote.  
I knew we’d found the right person when she said, “You’ve got a lot of diamonds here… the more the better, right?  I’ll build the ring really high up off your hand so we can get them all in.”
Speaking my language, y’all.  She told us it would take about ten weeks because she was backed up, and these things take time.  (Lots of time.)
This week, we finally got the call that she was done with the ring, and once we got there, she brought it out, slipped it on my finger, and grinned when I gasped, “I love it!”  I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say, she went above and beyond what I had hoped for, making something incredible out of those gifted diamonds.  
Why am I writing all of this?  Because I want to remember what it looks like when people are just extravagantly kind, not because the recipients of their gifts deserve it or need it, but because they’re just generous.  And in all the blogging that pastors and their wives do out there, I think sometimes we only hear about the bad side of things, and we miss out on stories like this, of people who do things like this, just because they care.

Thank you, Ray and Jeanie, for being so kind.  I will be looking especially for you tonight so that you can see what you gave to me!

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