One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is my cartouche, an Egyptian nametag of sorts. Modern cartouches, patterned after the Pharaoh’s name plates, are made of gold, with hieroglyphic symbols for each letter in a person’s name soldered onto a bordered gold oval with an elaborate hanging loop above and the traditional bar across the bottom. I bought mine in the gift shop at the Pyramids Hotel in Geza, where we stayed, right across the highway from the Pyramids.
Its valuable to me went far beyond being a customized and unique piece of gold jewelry. Whenever I wore it, I remembered that special trip to Israel and Egypt, and it also reminded me of the tiny gold nametag my father bought for me on my first birthday. I wore my toddler nametag constantly for years, and my cartouche almost as much.
I was devastated one day over two years to discover that the tiny gold bar at the bottom of the cartouche was missing. We were sitting at dinner in San Antonio at the time, and I assumed it had fallen out somewhere during our trip. For two years I grieved each time I saw that forlorn necklace lying unworn — I would not wear it without its bar. It seemed wrong.
I priced having it repaired, and the cost of the new bar was about 150% of the original price of the necklace, a price I was unwilling to pay. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I glued a small piece of cheap gold-colored wire in place and began wearing my necklace again. Any bar at all is better than none. I don’t care if it’s real gold. I want to wear my necklace! I thought.
Yesterday I vacuumed the shag rug in our bedroom. When I finished, I noticed something that appeared to be a single speck of lint. Rather than turn the vacuum back on, I bent down and picked it up. To my utter astonishment, it was the missing bar from my cartouche!
This wee thing is not even a millimeter in diameter and less than half an inch long. It has lain in the rug all this time. Now I’m not a fanatic about vacuuming, but over the course of two years, I’ve done so more than a couple of times, yet this tiny object was not sucked up by my industrial-strength Hoover. It remained there for over two years, then it surfaced, caught my attention, and I’m on my way to have it soldered back into place.
Miracle or coincidence? I leave it for you to judge. To me it’s a miracle, a sign, and I celebrate accordingly.
I could write more about the importance to me of signs and miracles, but I’ll leave it here for now. How about you? Have you experienced a miracle, or met an angel? What do you make of such things? How about writing of your experiences? How about a short note in a comment here? We’d love to hear it.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal