Yesterday, I had to take off my wedding band. My ring had left a deep indentation in the flesh of my ring finger from continually wearing it for the last 46 years. I noticed there was no remaining design on the ring. The last hint of the original design was long gone. When we bought our rings those many years ago, a serrated design graced the ring. Today, after decades of wear, the ring is now only a smooth gold circle.
I don’t like it when I have had to take off my ring for some occasions, like a medical procedure that does not allow jewelry to be worn or when I have to wash a lot of grease from my hands. It never feels right.
I have noticed the appearance of the ring has changed, but its original substance has remained. It had worn over time creating a different image from what it looked like when Jan and I visited a jewelry store in a mall in San Jose, California in the summer of 1973 as a young couple in love and recently engaged.
The ring makes me think of life and relationships. Everything will change over time if it is healthy. Nothing remains the same. Our marriage has changed over the years, just like our rings. Through our failures and successes, God has polished our relationships under His loving touch. The initial impressions of marriage we had have worn off in the process of maturing in our love.
Some people try to keep things the same, and in that futile attempt do not become the person or the relationship God intended them to become. I like the worn look and feel of my ring. It reminds me of a faithful and forgiving God. I love the beautifully familiar nature of my relationship with Jan. It is a reflection of oneness we share that makes me feel strange when we are apart.
Every healthy relationship will wear and change over time. To not appreciate and welcome the beauty of change will rob us of a sense of gratitude. That gratitude will make us want to put a ring back on our finger or wait at a door for the return of someone we love because we are not complete without them. Embrace the beauty of change. The gratitude you experience in that embrace will help the relationships God has given you to wear well over time.