“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 exceed the diamond’s value 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 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 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. The wings of this butterfly were two feet long. Wow.
Yet far more precious than the best of Brazil’s gemstones is the people themselves. I think especially of the children.
I opened a series of pictures of a small congregation in a favela, a slum that would be typical of areas where our churches are planting congregations. At times the children there may go hungry when parents do not have jobs that could lift their families out of despair. But the children smile and sing with all their hearts.
. 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.
I wonder if their parents have jobs or perhaps 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 gives up and in despair leaves his family? Our churches open schools in some of these poor areas and provide meals for the children,
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?
You can be one of those who give a hand in such projects. Just give me a call.
I get a hint of how this cutting and polishing is happening in small rented halls. I suppose that when the children have finished lunch they will hear 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 that 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 they are 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