Heirlooms & Seals

Now you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring;

for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring may not be revoked.

Esther 8:8

Some time ago, my grandfather gave me a ring.

My grandfather collects things: books, pocket knifes, old tools—he is a caregiver to items of the recent past. One day, he opened a small and worn cardboard box, rooted around in it, and produced a ring.

“Emily, this ring is over a hundred years old,” he said. “It was my mother’s ring.”

And he entrusted it to me.

I wear this ring every day. It is a piece of my family history, an monument not just to my great-grandmother, but to the influence she had on my grandfather’s life. I never met my great-grandmother: she died when my grandfather was young—but she is an important person to me because she is an important person to my grandfather.


Last night I had dinner with a (large) group of people who are part of this life-altering calling in my life. On my right sat a man who was the one who provided a way for me to answer this call; on my left was a woman who means so much to my family (biological and spiritual). She repeatedly leaned over tonight to give me hugs and to whisper words of encouragement to me.

The woman on my left rose from the table to pass out to each woman present a small gift: a silver pendent on a simple chain.

It’s a seal.

My mother wears this necklace. She received hers a few years ago and wears it with a quiet confidence.

This is not a talisman or a blessed artifact. There’s nothing magical or mystical about this necklace. It’s just a necklace. But as I slipped mine around my neck and watched as all the women around me did the same, I was humbled.

Humbled to be entrusted with this seal on my life.

This symbol of humility and support, of provision and power.

This symbol that my mother wears–and that now I wear.

The value of this necklace, the power of it, is in the symbolism and the knowledge that these people—my family (biological and spiritual)—value me.

“Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”

2 Timothy 1:13-14


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