“The mind that opens itself to a new idea will never return to its original size.” Anon
The diamond is not the most precious gem available in our world. It is valuable but the best emeralds often exceed the diamond’s value. Know why? It is because they are so rare. In Brazil the emerald is at the top of the list among the country’s many precious gems.
The emerald is the May birthstone and denotes life and love with the best found in Brazil. They were cherished by the Inca and Aztec peoples for they regarded the emerald as holy. The State of Minas Gerais–translated General Mines–produces not only the emerald but the world’s largest variety of other gemstones.
For the persons who cannot afford one of the best Brazilian gems they may purchase a slice of a geode that has been cut and polished to reveal its gorgeous hollow interior. Available as well are lovely necklaces made of stones that do not quite achieve gem quality. I cherish those stones and at times I have had them set in rings. Yet far more precious than the best of Brazil’s gemstones is the people themselves. I think especially of the children.
You see, I was looking for ideas for another blog posting when I opened a series of pictures of a small congregation in a favela, a slum named Jardim Colônia. The pictures were taken on Father’s Day and ten children were up front singing a song that celebrated their dads. Some of those dads seated on the rough benches may not have jobs that could lift their families out of hunger. But the children smile and sing to their dads with all their hearts.
I look across the small congregation and notice that most parents have children on their laps or sitting beside them. A few children have almost blond hair and a light skin while others show their African blood lines. Most of the children have black hair with chocolate shaded skin. The variety I see proclaims an incredible beauty in each eager face. There before me is a spectrum of light that can only be compared to gemstones. Each child exceeds in value any of the Brazilian gemstones you may mention: Topaz, Alexandrite, Amethysts, Aquamarine, Quarts, Onyx, Turquoise, Tourmalines and many other gems including the Emerald.
Then I notice a handsome young couple with the mother holding a three month old baby to her breasts. A family of the highest cut and quality! But I wonder if either of that couple have jobs. Do they have to travel a couple of hours each way to earn a survival wage? Will another baby arrive soon to this family, and then another and another. Will it happen one day that the father burdened and tired with his work give up and in despair leave his family? I pray for God’s help to be given them.
In one row there are ten people seated. But six of them are children. In yet another row I notice a couple of balding heads that belong no doubt to grandpas, again interspersed with children. They are clapping at the performance of the children at the front. I think of every child there as an uncut gem. Ah, they could one day flash with a brilliant color—that is if they were cut and polished. You see, so many gems can easily be mistaken for just stones till the cutting and polishing takes place. People will “oh” and “ah” at the beauty of a ring or a necklace when the process of manufacturing is complete. But what chance do these children have?
I get a hint of how this cutting and polishing is happening in this small rented hall. On the far side is standing a young man who is opening his Bible. I suppose that when the children have finished their presentation he will tell a story from his Bible. That story, for some child or perhaps an adult, will have the power to begin the cutting and the polishing. Those children may catch a glimpse of what their Saviour, Jesus of Calvary, can do to shape their lives into something truly astounding. Yes, one day there will be gemstones of rarest beauty so that even heaven will be amazed.
You don’t need to visit a Brazilian jewelry store to find beauty. That hall in this slum has more beauty there than those millionaire shops. You don’t think it is possible? Believe me I could so easily erase your doubts! Again and again I’ve watched the message of Jesus cut and polish lives till lives become jewels of remarkable beauty. If you have doubts about those gemstones, give me a call or contact me on my blog. I dare you.
Roy C. Kenny – rkennysite.wordpress.com