For me, it often appears in a visual form. Words do inspire me, which is why I keep an ever-bulging, tattered, old notebook full of quotations that “speak” to me.
But images. Oh, those sights my eyes behold, art work I may have the opportunity to view, photographs that I manage to coax out of my camera, they provide much of the spark that fires my thoughts and helps me put those thoughts into written words.
That was surely the case when we visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in our nearby city last month. Previously here in my blog, I shared some of my images and thoughts that fired up my brain when I entered the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems there.
The brilliant colors, the sparkle, the glimmer, and shimmer of those ‘rocks’ all lit up and displayed on ebony surfaces spoke to me without words. Proof of that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.
“These gems have life in them: their colors speak, say what words fail of.” ~ George Eliot
Viewing the decent photos I managed to take – it was difficult to photograph items behind glass and I’m nowhere near a professional or even knowledgeable photographer – continues to provide creative thoughts in this cluttered brain of mine and I want to share them with you.
We can look at a rock and say, “Well, it’s just a rock.” But what is on the inside of that rock? When split open, what you find may totally amaze you. What looks cold and mundane on the outside may radiate warmth and a magnificent treasure on the inside.
The beauty of it reminds me that those rocks that exist under our feet, in mountains, in the deepest caverns, or elsewhere were all created by the God of the universe. The one God that can penetrate our own cold, stony hearts and fill it with light and love for His Son, a Savior, a Redeemer.
“Let us carve gems out of our stony hearts and let them light our path to love.” ~ Rumi
But even the beauty you may find on the inside of that cracked open rock can be further refined. A number of processes cause a mineral or gem to form. Various conditions, forceful pressure, temperature changes all contribute to its formation.
Fracturing and friction produces another change into something much more precious and glittery – a gem stone. And that reminds me that we too can be polished up, our hearts made new. We can shine like the finest and most expensive gems in a jewelry store window when we give our lives to the One who loves us most.
But often it takes going through some rough places, some difficult experiences, some really hard times to become a beautiful gem.
“The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials.” ~ Confucius
And that reminds me of a passage of Scripture in the Bible. One of Jesus’ disciples named Peter wrote to his fellow Christians, praising God for salvation through Jesus Christ, for a living hope that believers can have despite frequent suffering and persecution.
His words are recorded in the New Testament in the book of 1 Peter, Chapter 1, verses 6-8: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
Out of difficult trials, as a believer in Christ you can still hold onto a gem of hope, a gem of light, a gem of joy, a gem of love. Aren’t those the most beautiful gems you may ever possess?
“Sometimes the darkest challenges, the most difficult lessons, hold the greatest gems of light.” ~ Barbara Marciniak