As I was speeding up the hill to get your sister to school on time, the dew on the grass at the crossroads caught my eye. The tiny drops glistened in the Nu’uanu morning sun. It made me think about that drizzly day in Seattle last year as we were walking up the avenue during new student orientation week. You loped along several feet ahead of me because your long legs just naturally moved you forward faster. As usual, you had your shoulders hunched and your head down. In that position, you came upon something that I would have missed completely. You quietly stooped down in front of me to pick up a lost earring lying on the sidewalk. It was silver with tiny gold flecks hammered onto its surface, shaped like a teardrop.

“I wonder if it’s worth anything?” you asked holding it up to the light. I looked around to see if its owner, unaware that it was missing from its proper place, might be standing nearby. No one was there but a grim faced man sitting at the bus stop and glaring at passersby. You dropped it in my hand for safekeeping.

One day, when you were away at college, and the loss of you felt heavier than usual, I removed the earring hook from that little teardrop and put it on a chain to wear around my neck. I wonder if its rightful owner misses it or might have silently cursed the one whose hand now holds it. It has had no power to ease a mother’s heart when her children grow up and grow bitter at the world. It hasn’t been able to guarantee them smooth passage nor conjure up even the smallest of miracles. Instead, I have learned with each passing day that there’s a message in its utter powerlessness: tears are beautiful in the eyes of God.

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