By Karen Swank
Date: Christmas Season, 2009
To: Mr. Right, who may be just a dream, but perhaps is real and in training even now, gaining the skills and insight necessary to Be My Husband.
From: Ms. Recently Unemployed and Elated at the Next Possibilities
Re: Jewelry and Much Bigger Things
Hello again. I hope that during this stage and season of your life, your arms, heart, and mind are open wide to receive everything God desires to give you. As for me, I am in a strange and wonderful place. He’s been rearranging my life again, and it seems that process is always followed by deeper intimacy with Him, not to mention gifts and assignments that make my highest and best imaginations seem paltry and spare. Oh yeah… I am definitely excited.
I don’t really expect to discover you in this space of my life; something tells me that my meeting place with you (if there is a you) is well beyond a giant leap of faith that I’ve yet to take. I haven’t found that leaping place yet, but I sure am watching for it. But today I found the place I’d like you to buy my wedding ring, when the time comes. With This Ring operates from a crazy, radical, over-the-top idea: the things most precious to me can make a real difference in this world as I sacrifice them.
Oh, I know it’s not a new idea. After all, two thousand years ago, the Biggest Sacrifice Ever was made, and that changed the world in a way that echoes across all eternity. That Sacrifice made the only change that really matters in my life…and in yours, for that matter (for whether you know my Jesus yet today or not, beloved, if there is a you, then you most certainly belong to Him.)
The story goes like this: once upon a time, Ali Eastburn went to Africa, intending to save some lives. What she experienced there wrecked her. Coming home, she decided to sell her wedding ring and use the proceeds to help people who were in great need, sick, and even dying. Still wrecked, she has taken her mission forward, encouraging many to follow suit. Her website receives donated rings and auctions them for charity.
The Christmas season here tends to bring out people’s longing for new toys, bangles, and general distractions that are “only” so many dollars. The reality she experienced away from our comfortable shores was that many of us wear rings that could buy a well for an entire village, in places where clean drinking water cannot be had.
With This Ring is hosting a “Twelve Rings of Christmas” auction, starting today, with a dozen rings featured for the financing of wells for decent water in Africa. The site has something for everyone, from high-dollar items down to rings even I could afford to purchase while on unemployment.
Mr. Right, I know you won’t make it for the Twelve Rings of Christmas campaign, since we haven’t even met. But when the time comes — if the time comes — please don’t consider buying my ring anywhere else. Like Ali, I’ve been wrecked, you see…and I don’t think I can settle for anything less.
Karen was called into hands-on ministry through a painful passage, for which she is grateful daily. Having recently transitioned from working in a shelter to the ranks of the unemployed, she waits with great anticipation for the next assignment.