Let me digress for a minute, I promise it will tie in. Lately Mr. Clean and K.Z. have been on full blown Indiana Jones alert as the 4th movie is now under production. So I have have, "Indy" on the brain. My favorite Indiana Jones saga was the Last Crusade.
In it they are on a quest for the holy grail, the cup Christ used at the Last Supper. In the final scene the Nazis (always the "bad guys") follow Indy into the spot where the grail is being protected by a 700 year old knight. The room is full of cups of various shapes, sizes and conditions. The bad guy is, of course, on a selfish quest and wants to drink from the cup to have immortality.
The knight tells him when he asks which one it is of the many cups, "you must choose but choose wisely".
The "femme fatale" of the movie, also a Nazi decides to choose and picks a beautiful cup made of gold. The male Nazi mutters before drinking from it, "a cup fit for the King of kings".
Poof! Then he dies. Wrong cup.
Indiana wisely states, "It will be the cup of a carpenter", and chooses the most modest and scuffed cup on display.
Now back to the envelope. Inside contained a ring. Each one of my grandmother's children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchild received (will receive) one. Seventy-six years ago they were made in Africa, hand carved from seed pods with a small knife.
Only the Creator knew that my mother would need 23 rings to provide each of us a small piece of my grandmother's history seventy-six years after they were made. Initially my mom only found 22 rings, which she did not even previously know about. She had no idea what to do since someone would inevitable be left out. Hours later, she found the 23rd ring in an obscure location.
Like the fictional grail in the movie, the ring I received today is plain, crudely made and completely wonderful because of it's historical value, even if the monetary value is nil. Had the envelope contained a shiny gold ring it would not have been as special.
The African who carved this ring three quarters of a century ago had no idea what the Lord would plan for it. I hope it carries a special meaning for my aunts, uncle, son, daughters, sister, niece, nephews, cousins, second cousins and so on.