Fallen Stars and Other Mysterious Beginnings

Most of us know that diamonds are extrodinary for many reasons, but one of the first that comes to mind is how they are formed in the depths of the earth.  Diamonds are a mystery, really, to the scientific world.  According to some carbon-dating, diamonds pre-date the earth.  A reference book on diamonds says that some geologists believe diamonds are made of particles from stars. 

My Dad has a theory about things like diamonds and dinosaurs – things that science can’t explain without making the world millions of years old.  He thinks God might have just planted dinosaur bones in the earth to make us wonder….to keep us guessing.  Diamonds have a similar mystique.  Formed in the deepest parts of the earth under intense pressure, they have only come to the surface by way of fiery volcanic rivers.
“You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.” Psalm 139:15-16a

Your formation in your mother’s womb may have been a surprise to everyone – including your mom – but it was no surprise to God.  He is the Creator of all things…nothing has life without Him.  You are no mistake, no surprise to the Lord of Life. Maybe he tossed your little perfect self right into the middle of the earth just to keep people guessing.

And don’t underestimate the fires and trials of your life.  Without the pressure and heat, you wouldn’t be who you are today.  Without the fiery river, you wouldn’t have found your way to the surface.  The reasons for our existence are not simple answers, instead they are beautiful mysteries that give our lives a curious glimmer and give our souls a glittering anticipation for what is yet to come.

Why “Rare Rocks”?

I loved being single.  Of course, I love being married and raising beautiful kids, too, but there was something so special about those single days of early adulthood.  Luckily, I had an older friend say the same thing to me once, while I was single and wishing I wasn’t.  She had five kids and a very busy husband.  As I gave her a tour of the little garage/apartment I shared with my best friend, she told me to cherish the days we were living in.  I actually took her seriously, and I tried to make the most of that season.

Lori and I worked together and lived together.  We shared most of the same friends and went to the same church.  Our little apartment was a one-room studio with a loft and cedar wall boards.  So cool.  And we enjoyed our life together.  Fast food for supper.  Late night movies.  Out-of-town shopping trips.  Our greatest shared passion was worship, so we sang a lot and listened to all kinds of music.

Late night church services were part of our experience at the time, and we often found ourselves at Country Kitchen - that mecca of pancakes, appetizers, and second-hand smoke.  I remember being there once with some friends from our church talking over the deep and not-so-deep issues of life.

It was during this conversation that Mike called Lori and me “rare rocks.”  We needed an explanation.  He was a contemplative, prophetic sort and his statements were sometimes riddles.  He told us that he appreciated our friendship and honesty.  He was quickly becoming jaded with the specific church we attended, but he recognized something genuine in each of us.  If Christians in general are living stones, you guys are some rare rocks!

I never forgot that compliment. I’ll never forget Mike either, and I hope he has found peace somewhere else.  It gave me confidence then to know that someone recognized spiritual value inside of me that was distinct from my peer group.  I hope this analogy gives you confidence to know that there is unique value inside of you. 

You can be a rare rock. 

What does a living stone look like?

In the beginning of my adventures with diamonds, I wanted to check out something first…is there anything in the Bible that would send my analogy crashing into the heresy slush pile?

I researched the 4 C’s of diamond grading and found corresponding spiritual principles.  Carat – the destiny God has for our lives.  Color – the power of our unique personality. Clarity – the value of purity. And Cut – the process of becoming the “most beautiful.”  This worked, but where in the Bible had I seen anything about diamonds?

I Peter 2:5 “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Living stones.  In the past, I have always imagined these living stones like hollow gray bricks.  The big kind that they use to build churches in Mexico.  And this is sort of the way I imagined my own Christianity – substantial but a little boring.  The “living” part only helped my imagination put little google eyes on the bricks or something.  Not that inspiring.

But another of my favorite verses came to mind.  Revelation 21 is a beautiful description of what our eternal life will be like: “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”  Beautiful.  The rest of the chapter is just as inspiring, and here is where I got it.  Verses 18 and 19 “The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone…”

Now that is my kind of living stone.  Instead of imagining the City of God as a dark medieval castle, I saw something more like the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.  Only better.  These foundation stones are described as “precious stones.”  Precious stones are diamonds, rubies, emeralds.  They are transparent and full of color, not murky and dull.  In my mind, these bricks are like huge Jolly Rancher candies!  Now I’m getting inspired.

So, this is my shaky but legitimate Biblical support for comparing women and diamonds.  If I’m going to be referred to as a “living stone,” I want that mental picture to be more like a brilliant diamond and less like a chunky cinder block!

Welcome to Rare Rocks

In the days and weeks following my engagement 7 years ago, I started thinking a lot about diamonds – probably because the new one on my left hand was GORGEOUS!  It’s a round, brilliant cut half-carat in a half-moon bezel setting.  Anyone who has shopped for engagement rings lately can picture it perfectly.  After putting on that ring, I was never more aware of my hands; how many times I bang them into walls on my way out the door or bump them against car doors and toilet stalls.  But with my new ring, I noticed every brush against that left hand.

I had dreams that I found out my diamond was a fake and it kept falling to the floor in a million pieces.  I took it off to shower and to wash my hands.  This ring is going to be this beautiful forever!  And then I remembered the famous diamond slogan: A diamond is forever.  What was the matter with me?  No matter how destructive I got, I could not damage this diamond.

Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth.  One of the reasons they were chosen as stones for wedding rings is because of their durability.  I was worrying about something even I could not ruin.  And so I relaxed.  And I started thinking about diamonds and how awesome they are.  And that got me thinking about how much women love diamonds.  And that got me thinking that maybe women are a lot like diamonds. 

And the rest of the story is why I created this blog…