HEAVY splash was followed by many ripples and then the water below the pier was still.
An American missionary crouched on the low Indian pier, his eyes riveted
on the place where a stream of little bubbles rose to the surface from deep
under the water. Suddenly a black head appeared and a pair of bright eyes looked
up. Then the old Indian pearl diver was clambering onto the dock, grinning and
shaking the water from his shining oiled body.
"As nice a dive as I've ever seen, Rambhau!" cried David Morse, the
"Look at this one, Sahib," said Rambhau, taking a big oyster from
between his teeth. "I think it'll be good."
Morse took it and while he was prying it open with his pocket knife Rambhau
was pulling other small oysters from his loincloth. "Rambhau! Look!"
exclaimed Morse, "Why, it's a treasure!"
"Yes, a good one," shrugged the diver.
"Good! Have you ever seen a better pearl? It's perfect, isn't it!"
Morse had been turning the big pearl over and over and then handed it to the
"Oh, yes, there are better pearls, much better. Why, I have one-"
his voice trailed off. "See this one-the imperfections-the black specks
here, this tiny dent; even in shape it is a bit oblong, but good as pearls go.
It is just as you say of your God. To themselves people look perfect, but God
sees them as they actually are." The two men started up the dusty road to
"You're right, Rambhau. And God offers a perfect righteousness to all
who will simply believe and accept His free offer of salvation through His
"But, Sahib, as so many times before I have told you, it's too easy. I
cannot accept that. Perhaps I am too proud. I must work for my place in
"Oh, Rambhau! Don't you see, you'll never get to heaven that way.
There's only one way to heaven. And see, Rambhau, you are getting older now.
Perhaps this is your last season of diving for pearls.