On December 8, 1995, a little girl was born to us. We loved her instantly, dressed her in snuggly soft clothing, and gave her a name that means Princess Pearl.
Let’s talk about pearls. They are gems, but unlike other gems that need to be cut and polished to be beautiful, pearls are ‘born’ with, according to American Pearl, “a shimmering iridescence, lustre, and soft inner glow unlike any other gem on earth.” That’s our pearl, she stands out — she is unlike anyone else I have ever met. She is strong; she is beautiful; she is treasured.
Her strength is seen in her passionate devotion to justice. This girl can cut to the truth and articulate it so quickly that she leaves the opposition standing with mouth gaping. She stands up to inequity and prejudice with indignation; she calls it out. I remember when she was in the fourth grade she went to the principal and advocated for change in the holiday program that seemed a bit biased toward the Jewish population of the school while minimizing the voice of the Christian population of the school. Yes, our little girl marched into the principal’s office and articulated her complaint. Guys, she got the change she advocated for. In the fourth grade.
Her beauty is not only physical, though she is breathtakingly stunning, but it is also in her love, especially for her friends. In the presence of ‘her people’ this girl radiates. She beams onto her friends like a spotlight. She pulls them into conversation, she encourages them, she infuses life into them. Wherever she goes folks run to greet her, to hug her, to laugh with her, and to have some crazy personalized exchange that no one else seems to understand. She knows her people deeply.
This girl is treasured — by us, yes, but by so many others! She has her family, yes, but she has grafted so many others into her family tree! The branches spread from Los Angeles to Portland to Boston to St. Louis to Chicago to who knows where else!
She’s a pearl — a strong, beautiful, treasured jewel.
Is she a princess? Princesses, by definition, are daughters or granddaughters of kings. It’s their identity. They are born into the family and its position. It’s not a reflection of character, but a statement of belonging. Our girl is a child of the King. And as His princess, has unlimited access to the King, and his Kingdom. She can go directly to Him and ask for anything she wants. She can’t ‘un-princess’ herself. She is a daughter of the King — forever. Many princesses choose to use this position as a free ticket to a life of privilege and power, sitting in the castle eating bonbons. Not our pearl. She eschews her privilege to journey out into the villages, befriending the people, spotting injustice, and using her voice to call attention to it — to change it.
She’s my kind of princess, my kind of pearl– His strong, beautiful, one-of-a-kind, treasured jewel — forever.