This morning’s beach walk revealed a surprise; the water’s rim was scattered with pearls! They came in various sizes from tiny seed pearls to larger beads, each perfectly shaped and opalescent in the morning light. Perhaps they were eggs from some sea creature, or perhaps they were seedpods; no one at the ranger station could identify them. I could, I suppose research and understand their origin, but I prefer to think of them as pearls. A gift of pearls, entirely unexpected. They remind me of Jesus’ comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven as a valuable pearl. When I see these “pearls” spread so freely in the sand, I am reminded that the Kingdom of Heaven is all around me, here and now. It is not only in the future, but also here, this moment in the present. I thank you, Dear Lord for these pearls that festoon the beach, pearls whose biologic origin I can’t explain, but pearls that symbolize the Heaven you’ve prepared for me. Amen.