It started out with a gift for a friend of mine. I wanted to find something extra special that would have a lasting meaning for her. It was an interesting bracelet that I had found at a Christian bookstore. Nothing I had ever seen in the past really intrigued me but this one fascinated me. It was a simple bracelet with several different beads. Each different bead told a part of the story of Christ. The star symbolized the star that guided the Wise Men to see Christ in the manger. Three beads next to the star symbolized each of the three kings. The red bead represented the royalty of Christ, the new king. Other beads represented part of His life from that of being a carpenter all the way to the end of His life. The last bead was a heart which symbolized Godís love. Knowing that my friend was a Christian I thought it would be perfect.
My friend absolutely loved the gift. She thought it was truly unique and remarked about the way that the beads were arranged around the circle. She liked it so much that she decided to make some as gifts for several of her own friends. Since she knew how to make her own jewelry it wasnít hard to imagine her working at home putting the beads together.
Before long it was time to consider gifts for Christmas. I wanted something that my two granddaughters would appreciate and remember for some time. It is really hard to come up with ideas for a pre-teen and a teen especially since fashion and personal likes change so much. I came back to the bracelet again. Both of the girls attend church and it would be an easy way to share our faith together. It was the perfect gift and it would give them a chance to share the story of Christ with other friends. Their reaction was enthusiastic and they too liked the bracelet that told the story of Christ.
The story about the bracelet doesnít end here. The two bracelets I gave to my granddaughters inspired something else. The girlís mother is an artist who was beginning to paint again. She had several paintings around the house and she was working to have some of them displayed at a local gallery. She loves to do abstract art and is really great with what she paints. While I looked at one painting and was trying to figure out exactly what she was portraying, she asked me if I recognized anything in the picture. She had to show me where to look but near the middle of the painting were some of the same beads from the bracelet. The beads formed part of a belt that was wrapping around the middle of a simple garment from Biblical days. The outline of the coat was very soft and subdued but the beads were noticeable. I was amazed that the little bracelet had inspired a painting where the beads were the focal point.
But the story still doesnít end yet. The paintings were taken to the gallery so that the owner could peruse those paintings that he felt would sell. He selected some of the abstract fruit that she had painted but his real fascination was with the paintings that had the hidden bracelet and beads going around the center of the garment. In fact, he was so enthusiastic that he asked if she could paint more of the same type of art. He wasnít exactly sure what he was seeing he only knew that he liked it and wanted to have more of that style of art in his gallery. His plans are to include some of those same paintings in different art shows in the area.
One little bracelet was given as a gift. The same bracelet was given again in the form of two gifts. Then the bracelet sent its message through a painting that will go out to other homes. These little beads have over and over been a testimony to many people. Where these beads appear next is hard to imagine. And we are seeing the impact of only one bracelet. What about the other bracelets that were sold? Iím sure that there is a story surrounding them, too. Such a big impact from such a simple but creative piece of jewelry!
The jewelry made an impression on everyone who saw it. The story behind the beads tells another story just as captivating. The beads help to show the love of God through the resurrection of Christ. Because of what He did for us, we have a new life and a new beginning. There is no greater gift than that. Accepting His salvation changes us and our life takes on new meaning. As we tell others of His love, His story will continue to witness of His saving grace. The story I was once told has changed me and each person that I tell will have an opportunity to have a legacy that is everlasting.