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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)

TITLE: Pearls of Great Price
By Mike Richardson


Pearls of great price

When Vermeer caught that most precious pearl
Sitting on the ear
Of that chaste young girl
Like a tear
He did not know
That pearls of greater price
Would later be heralding in
Human sacrifice, lives to plantations
Two men would be wept over,
Off to the nations,
As they stood quayside
Ready to leave behind
Loved ones, jobs, homes.
Those pearl drop tears
More precious than Vermeer’s
Fall on a canvas of light
To the refrain from those who cried
“That the lamb who had died
Will receive the reward
Of his sufferings”

Two Moravian missionaries from a community in Holland deliberately sold themselves into slavery as it was the only way they could gain access to slaves who worked the plantations. As the boat pulled away from the shore one of the missionaries cried out to the onlookers the last line of the poem. They had no way of knowing whether they would ever see loved ones again and were prepared to take the risk for the sake of the kingdom. The comparison with Vermeer who painted a girl form the same community some years earlier is thrown into sharp relief by the reference to the Pearl of Great Price referred to by Jesus in Matthew 13:46

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/25/12
This is intense. I wish there was a bit more as I had a little but of difficulty understanding all of your message.

I often feel like I min's things in poetry so it could just be me. You might want to write the Bible verse out as I fear most won't look it up.
The poem sounded familiar to me. Medes sure that when you enter the challenge that you don't submit previously written material. The last bit doesn't seem familiar so maybe you added more to it. You are allowed to rewrite material bat it needs to be a complete rewrite.

The last bit really touched my heart. I know human trafficking is still more of ad problem than we can ever imagine. I really wanted to read more to know what happened to the missionaries. Nice job.
Noel Mitaxa 05/25/12
Very challenging material.
Marina Rojas05/26/12
This piece was confusing, as it appears the first part is a poem written by someone else? If that is the case, there should be a reference to the author...the bottom paragraph tends to elude to that as being written by someone else, so this reader was not sure if this is a short commentary on the poem, to contrast it with some historical facts about the missionaries?

I would suggest that after challenge, submit this to the Critique Circle for some help in making the message more clear, or to bring out the best in this piece as a devotional.

C D Swanson 05/26/12
Beautiful ending...Peaceful and soothing....Thank you.

God Bless~
Dolores Stohler05/27/12
Thank you for the very thought-provoking message of this poem. Christians should never be complacent, hiding behind the comforts of their church. We should all be willing to take risks for Him, the bravest One who ever lived. Well done. God bless you.
Theresa Santy 05/27/12
You've beautifully combined intense, powerful movement, with fragility, and grace.

Great application of theme.
Edmond Ng 05/27/12
A thought provoking piece showing the sacrifices some are willing to take in order to bring the message of the gospel. The question for us to think about is, 'Are we willing?' Thank you for sharing this. God bless.
Leola Ogle 05/29/12
I was so moved by the Moravian missionaries sacrifice to share the gospel. Very touching. Thanks for sharing. God bless!
Hiram Claudio05/31/12
Nice job Mike ... and congrats on the 3rd place finish!
C D Swanson 05/31/12
Congratulations! God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/31/12
Congratulations for placing 15th overall!
Leola Ogle 06/01/12
Great job, Mike! Congrats on your place!
Kelvin Fowler06/02/12
Very well done Mike, very well done.