“For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name. . . .” Isaiah 54:5 (KJV)
To favor means to show special regard or exceptional kindness to someone. It means to give preferential treatment in comparison to others and that the one “favored” receives generosity and goodwill far beyond what is normally expected. This is generally the favor that we receive from the Lord. One night, following an unusually challenging week, just before my evening prayers, to quote the old saints,”I looked at my hands and my hands looked new.” There it was–a startling sign of God’s Divine favor towards me!! On my third finger, left hand, was an unmistakable ring of color. Amazed, I thoroughly explored it, questioned its meaning, and tried to understand why I never noticed it until that moment. Then these words of Scripture echoed in my spirit: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you . . . .” (John 15:16). Suddenly, I understood what it truly meant to be “known (by God) from my mother’s womb.” I always knew my life was not my own. My heart raced and rejoiced to think that I would be so highly regarded with such a miraculous gift for all the world to see. Excitedly, I spent the rest of the night studying the meaning of the “wedding ring.” Needless to say, no wedding I ever officiated–not even my own wedding vows, prepared me to fully grasp the meaning of this miracle!! What a Blessing to be entrusted with such an incredible sign of personal covenant with God!!
As I continued to look at my indelible gift and to study the history of the ring and the “wedding ceremony,” I was even more amazed. The ring symbolizes love and love, according to I Corinthians 13, is the most worthy of all emotions. The wedding ring, in particular, is an instantly recognizable symbol of the joining of two in marriage. It is an endless unbroken circle of eternal love that continues its endless flow through time. It has no beginning and no end and returns to itself, like life. The roundness of the ring represents “eternity” symbolizing a union that is to last forever. The hole in the center is not just a space — it symbolizes the gateway or door that leads to things and events both known and unknown. Those in Antiquity, believed that a vein, or nerve, ran directly from the “ring finger” of the left hand to the heart, (the latin, vena amoris “the vein of love”). In the marriage ritual, the “engagement ring” is removed and replaced by the wedding band (symbolically meaning the wedding band is being placed closest to the heart). Finally, the wedding band signifies the last gift to the “other” sealing the union’s “undying” love.
I cannot truly say, I understand everything that has happened to me these past few years; I agree with Job, “it is simply too wonderful for me.” I admit, I never fully grasped “the why of” this skin disorder — this “thorn in my flesh,” until my ring of color reminded me that “God’s ways are not our ways” and God uses “simple things to confound the wise.” I feel honored and am sincerely grateful to think the Savior of the world would Bless lowly me in such a way! What reassurance of God’s constant presence and steadfast love. What a phenomenal way to show to the world that this broken, earthen vessel, is not only Blessed and Beloved, but Highly Favored!