I love catching my wife, Kaci, looking at the engagement ring I gave her nearly one year ago. She’ll stare at it for a few brief seconds in the car or as we take a walk. Out of the corner of my eye, I’ll notice a slight smile creep across her face. Lost in her own thoughts and happiness, she’ll assume I haven’t noticed.
She is fascinated by that ring and one year later, still gazing. I hope she never stops. Her staring and smiling makes me smile; her telling others the story of the ring, even more so.
The Story of the Ring
Being a pastor of somewhat modest means, my mom had promised me her original wedding ring if I were to eventually get married. I’m sure she entertained doubts that I would ever take her up on the offer, as I remained single well into my thirties.
But then I met Kaci. It wasn’t love at first sight; in fact, neither of us originally thought there would be a second date. But that’s an entirely separate story. Suffice it to say that there was a second and a third as love slowly but surely awakened. Nearly six months later I found myself having “the talk” with her dad.
When I asked Kaci’s parents for her hand, her mother asked me about engagement rings, and I mentioned my mom’s promise. As it turns out, Kaci’s mother had a ring to contribute as well, as did her grandmother and aunt. For good measure, my dad decided to give me a wedding band he had from when he temporarily misplaced his original.
By the time I was ready to visit the jeweler, I had four diamonds rings, a gold band and a pair of earrings in my possession. I felt like Aaron holding all the jewelry of Israel (except for the golden calf part), or at least a lot like the true love on the fifth day of Christmas.
My desire was to design something original, personal, symbolic and sentimental. Thankfully, I had lots of help. The final product was a beautiful, antique engagement ring with three stones to represent the godhead. Those three stones were taken from her mother and grandmother’s rings. I decided to use my own mother’s diamonds in the wedding band. That way, Kaci would have her family represented in the engagement ring while the wedding ring would signify union with my family.
It is a unique story with a few more interesting details that perhaps only Kaci and I find all that interesting. But she likes to tell it. Even more, I love to hear it.
A Better Story
The first time I saw Kaci gazing at that ring was when we were driving back from a trip to West Texas with my family. I had proposed on that trip, and it was all so fresh and new. We were on a long, straight and flat highway, and Kaci was absorbed in awe. As I observed her staring, I felt this profound sense of pleasure.
The more I thought about this deep delight I was experiencing, the more natural and profound it became in my understanding. All givers of gifts are delighted when that gift is treasured. My mind drifted to the gospel.
What I was feeling was only a small fraction of the abundant joy and glory that the Father receives when we think upon, delight in and speak about His Son. Nothing honors the Father more than our being enraptured with pleasure in the gifts that He has given, and no gift is greater than Jesus.
The rings that I gave to Kaci in 2013 will someday lose their luster. They will be lost, outgrown or a stone will fall from its mount. And this little story will eventually fade as memories fail. But the gift of Christ will only and eternally increase in value, and that story will never grow old.
The gospel is a gift, the best gift you can ever receive. The love of God has come to mankind and made sinners into saints, slaves into sons and daughters, enemies into friends. Christ has given Himself for us to make us His own beloved bride, pure and spotless and radiant.
That’s a gift infinitely worth marveling at. That’s a story worth smiling about and telling others.