Sunday, March 18, 2018

Diamonds - Rough, but still diamonds

The English novelist, William Makepeace Thackeray, wrote: "There are many sham diamonds in this life which pass for real, and vice versa." If you stop for a moment to consider the diamonds you have overlooked as you have gone through this lifetime, you might be surprised at what you discover. To me, I recount the 'diamonds in the rough' that have touched my life in ways some just might not understand. There were hugs from that child I worked with who could not speak more than a couple words due to his mental handicap that touched my soul deep down when I was feeling particularly lonely during my high school days - diamonds beyond value. Those giggles from the kiddos when they discovered some perfectly good way to sneak up on me and startle me with their shenanigans that just warmed my heart because they felt comfortable enough to be silly and free with me - they were diamonds indeed. Maybe even those moments of temper that emerged when someone didn't get their way, but in which we remained calm and made it through despite that initial outburst - diamonds beyond measure. It doesn't have to be 'shiny' to sparkle, nor does it have to be 'brilliantly cut' to radiate beauty - diamonds all start out 'in the rough'.

6 For the Lord grants wisdom! His every word is a treasure of knowledge and understanding. 7-8 He grants good sense to the godly—his saints. He is their shield, protecting them and guarding their pathway. 9 He shows how to distinguish right from wrong, how to find the right decision every time. 10 For wisdom and truth will enter the very center of your being, filling your life with joy. (Proverbs 2:6-10 TLB)

We don't always find treasure just because we are looking for it - sometimes it is discovered quite by accident! We might just realize how truly blessed we are when someone reminds us to have a totally blessed day. We could discover there is a blessing, even in the deepest place, that was hidden to us before, but suddenly we see a value far superior to anything else we take from that place. The treasure is found in the openness to discover it. Discovery is the process of recognizing it - it is the ability to 'see' what others don't see and 'hear' what others only casually receive. There is much to be said about discovering one's 'diamonds', but here are just a few thoughts today:

- What 'diamond' has God been working to reveal to you? It could be that you have been looking for the shiniest and most brilliant of gems, but right there before you is that diamond, all covered in mire and muck, just waiting to be unmasked. Sometimes we have to put a little bit of work into uncovering the true gems.

- When is God's opportune moment to bring 'diamonds' into our lives? It rarely is in those moments when we are 'on top of the world' and thoroughly 'on top of our game'. In fact, it may just be that the most magnificent diamonds are discovered when we are at one of our lowest points - because diamonds are 'dug from the earth' - they rarely just fall into our laps!

- Who has 'diamonds' to share? We often overlook those who don't quite seem like they have much to offer us in life - sometimes to our detriment. I have worked for years with the elderly - do you know how many diamonds I have met in this work? Thousands! I have been a teacher's aid with the mentally handicapped - do you suppose there were many diamonds there? Yup! Hundreds and hundreds. Remember - if you are always looking for the shiniest and easiest to find, you might just overlook the most valuable of diamonds! Just sayin!