Quote from Joni Eareckson Tada

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My Mangled Earrings

I once admired the earrings my friend, Ann, was wearing – they were square, smooth, flat, and made of gold. When I remarked how beautiful they were, she replied, “They’re yours!” Ann then proceeded to take them off and put them on my ears! Humbled by her gift, the earrings became a treasure. Once while wearing them at work, one slipped off my ear – I looked but couldn’t find it, so I wheeled to my office door to ask for help. That’s when I felt a clunk-clunk-clunk. The earring was impaled on my tire; it was ruined! That weekend I took it to a jeweller and asked, “Sir, can you make this mangled earring look like the smooth one?” He rubbed his chin and said, “I can’t make that one look like this one… But I can make this one look like that one!” He then took a mallet and hammered the smooth, square earring into a mangled mess! At first I was horrified, but now I realize that the misshapen earrings reflect the light more beautifully than when they were ‘normal.’ It’s a lesson reflected in this timeless poem: 

When God wants to drill a man,

And thrill a man, and skill a man,

When God wants to make a man

To play the noblest part,

When He yearns with all His heart

To build so great and bold a man

That all the world shall be amazed,

Then watch His methods, watch His ways!

 How He ruthlessly perfects,

Whom He royally elects;

How He hammers him and hurts him,

And with mighty blows converts him

Into shapes and forms of clay

Which only God can understand

While man’s tortured heart is crying

And he lifts beseeching hands…

 Yet God bends but never breaks

When man’s good He undertakes;

How He uses whom He chooses,

And with mighty power, infuses him,

With every act induces him to try

His splendor out,

God knows what He’s about.

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