One Stick

Ezekiel 37:19

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

When I was 18 years old and pregnant with my first child, my beloved grandmother got to make her only trip back home to the land of her birth, her beautiful Emerald Isle of Ireland.  She brought back for me a piece of our ancestral homeland, in the form of a necklace. It was a cross pendant, of sterling silver, and adorned with four pieces of Connemara marble, a distinctively Irish stone, as green as the Emerald Isle itself.  I treasured this necklace, and wore it almost constantly for years.

Then one day I lost it.  Back then, in my mid to late twenties, I worked 13 hours every Saturday.  I distinctly remembered putting my cross on that morning before going to work.  It was around dinnertime, after working most of the day, that I noticed it was missing.  The chain was still there on my neck, but the cross was missing.

I panicked.  I retraced my steps, I walked all over that store, and in back all through the storeroom, scanning the floor, desperately searching.  I made sure to tell everyone, so that if anyone found it or it got turned in by a customer, it would find its way back to me.  But I went home without it, wondering if I would ever see it again.

I spent the next two weeks searching, and crying, and mourning the loss.  It wasn’t a very expensive piece of jewelry, and I don’t even care about jewelry.  But to me it represented 3 of the most precious things in my life: my grandmother; my Irish heritage; and my faith in God.

One night, just before morning, I had a dream.  I saw my cross laying on the street, next to the driver’s door of my car.  It was in a very clear, shallow puddle, under a very thin layer of ice, with an intricate pattern to the ice.

A little while later, I woke for the day and started our morning routine.  It was as I had the kids sitting at the table eating breakfast that I remembered the dream.  I’m sure I must have let out an audible gasp, and immediately took off out the front door toward my car.  Sure enough, there was my cross, next to the driver’s side door, under a thin layer of ice in a puddle exactly as I had seen in my dream.  EXACTLY.

The 3 smaller pieces of Connemara marble were missing, but the large piece was still intact.  I left it that way for the next few years, and kept it safe in my jewelry box.  Even damaged, it was still very precious to me, and I didn’t want to take a chance on losing it again.

When I moved to Alaska in 1991, I got an idea.  I went to a local jeweler, and had him replace the 3 small marble pieces that were missing with Alaska Jade in a matching shade.  Now I was ready to wear it again, and it had even more character.  Now it represented my grandmother, my Ireland, my faith, AND my Alaska that I love.  And it’s the one item of jewelry that I’ve worn the most since that time.

In the spring of 2014, when I went to Michigan thinking it was going to be a permanent move and I was leaving my youngest daughter Amber behind, I gave her my precious Celtic cross necklace.  It was as precious to her as it was to me, because she knew the history behind it.  Unfortunately, she suffered the same frustration later that summer – to look down and find the chain still on her neck, but the cross missing.  She was as devastated as I was nearly 30 years earlier.

I told her not to worry, that God had brought it back to me back then, maybe He would do the same thing again.

Well, it had been 2 years, and it didn’t seem that was going to happen.  I think we had both pretty much given up on it.

So I decided to get myself another piece of jewelry that would be a re-defining of my self-image – the other side of my family tree that I had only recently discovered the history of, going back to Jewish roots.  I had seen this piece online, it was a Star of David, made from Sterling Silver & Eilat stone, aka Solomon stone, the national gemstone of Israel.  It was made in Israel, one of my favorite colors, would go with most of my wardrobe, and represent my other ancestors and the other side of my spiritual history. Perfect.  So I ordered it.  When it arrived, I was very pleased with it and wore it nearly every day.

And then one day, I’m walking through the yard and happen to look down at the right spot, and there is my missing celtic cross.  Face down in the grass.  I picked it up, and to my amazement, it wasn’t even damaged this time.  It even looked cleaner than the last time I saw it!  It had acquired an antique look when it survived our house fire in November of 2002.  I had thought it rather suited the piece, and so I left it that way.  But here it was, bright and shiny silver again, with all its marble and jade intact!

I immediately went in the house and showed Amber, who was as stunned as I had been.  She instructed me to put it away and never let her touch it again – apparently she felt the same way that I did years ago when I put it into my jewelry box for safe keeping and deprived myself of it for a while.

That was last summer. It wasn’t until months later, earlier this year, that God showed me why I had to acquire the Star of David necklace before He would show me where my cross was.  I wear both of them now, together, more often than not.

The cross represents the stick of Joseph, in the hand of Ephraim.  The Star of David represents the stick of Judah.  They are 2 halves of God’s whole, all of the tribes of Israel regathered when they are together. 

And He will make them one stick in His hand.

He is working on making that a reality in the world at this very moment.

And my life, and the generations that have come before and made me who I am, have been a microcosm of that prophetic fulfillment.  I think that’s also true of many people around us, who probably aren’t even aware of it.