I wear a ring on my right hand that is unique. I know it is unique because I drew up the design and took it to the jeweler to make it. The ring is as important to me as my wedding band, because it also symbolizes a gift of love, a commitment, and a beautiful relationship. It also represents pain and healing from that pain. It also represents purpose in life, and commitment to that purpose. Here is the story behind it:
I was going through a training program at my church, which was developed by a pastor in a different denomination. That in itself is rare enough, but it is only the starting point. The program is called Evangelism Explosion, in that it teaches participants a very logical way of presenting the gospel, without being paternalistic.
Upon graduation of the grueling and rewarding 16 week long program, I was awarded a lapel pin. The lapel pin, has two question marks on it, symbolizing what are known to the participants as 'the two diagnostic questions'. The concept of Evangelism Explosion, or 'E E' as people call it, is to hold off any prognosis about another person's spiritual condition until you have at least made a cursory diagnosis.
Using a medical example, if I were to look at you, assuming that I was a doctor, and said that you needed a cast for your leg and that it would heal in about 4 to 6 weeks, that would be interesting. It would be nice to hear only if your leg was broken. Otherwise, I am a quack, or lousy doctor. To offer suggestions of treatment and healing before doing any diagnosis, is not good medicine, to put it mildly.
Back to E E, the same concept applies. How can I suggest spiritual needs in your life, and make prognostic statements without doing a thorough diagnosis?
While the lapel pin is a great conversation starter, my being on active duty in the Navy, I was not allowed to wear it.
At the same time, I was developing a wonderful relationship with a young woman in the Sunday School class. We had known each other for about 8 months, and were just starting to date. After about another 6 months, she accepted my proposal and we set a date to wed. I wanted to have custom-made rings, so I went to a jeweler and ordered the gold and diamonds.
But, before the rings were even started, my fiancÃƒÂ© changed her mind. (Remember the song, 'Have you ever seen a lassie go this way and that way and this way and that way?' She was a lassie and she changed her mind!) The wedding was off. Among other things, I called the jeweler and told him to not start on the rings, but to wait for further directions later.
So, in addition to everything else going on at the time, I had a problem. I had a lapel pin I could not wear, and I had gold and diamonds for a ring I didn't need. Can't wear pin, have material for ring. Can't wear pin, have material for ring. Then it hit. Why not have a custom made ring on which to display the lapel pin? Maybe this would even take my mind off of other things.
So, knowing the history behind it, I also knew that I had to design it. After several sketches, I had it. The jeweler didn't quite get it the way I wanted. I suspect he used cubic zirconium instead of the diamonds, and that he used very small gems, at that. Actually, I think it looks better with smaller gems than I had planned. It looked good enough for me, and it fit. What else could I possible want? I mean, other than to strangle the guy she met during our engagement or to choke her? <grin>
As Paul Harvey has said a thousand times, "Here's the rest of the story."
For the next year and a half, I wore the ring daily. It started many conversations and gave me many opportunities to share with people about the "2 diagnostic questions that the 2 question marks represent." I was really enjoying the ring, as I also got to share why it existed. I also experience healing in other people's lives from their past pains as the heard the story of the ring.
I wore it all the time. Later, I was engaged to another young lady. A few months after we married, the lapel pin fell off the ring and was lost. Sadly, I put the ring away in my jewelry box, with no plans for it. I forgot about it. Then, being an officer in the Navy, I went out to sea for six months. In fact, we spent our first anniversary thousands of miles apart. I was in Cartegena, Columbia, she was on the road to Atlanta, Georgia with her sister.
When I came back from overseas, I was given a special present. My wonderful bride, had also gone through the "Evangelism Explosion" training, and earned the same pin. She then had her lapel pin, placed on the ring, and gave it back to me. I had my ring back, with her lapel pin on it. It was no longer a symbol only of pain and separation and confusion. It was adorned in love.
Yes, I always wear the ring, again. Yes, I look at it and wonder about the many blessings of my life.
I have the great blessings of having a wonderful wife, a wonderful God, a wonderful family, wonderful friends and I am alive during a great time in history.
I also have a ring on my finger to remind me of those blessings, and to touch other people's lives in a positive way!