I found myself distracted from listening to the tour guide as we strolled the “Precious Gems” portion of the museum. I was chaperoning a group of sixth graders on the annual trip to the Nature and Science museum. I was half listening and mostly preoccupied with not losing one of the precocious little boys who was entrusted to my care for the day. On my way to finding the soon to be lost boy, I stumbled upon the most brilliant of stones. At the end of the dark hall I was amazed to see this boy I was hunting for, standing in front of a glass case with his reflection superimposed upon the wall by the radiance of the stone shining so brightly.
“Whoa,” was the only word he could utter.
I learned that day that this particular stone was an Australian Opal. The opal stone is generally made up of silica minerals, desert dust and sand – very ordinary materials. Our guide joined us and shared with us that the opal owes its beauty not to perfection but to its defects. The stone has microscopic cracks that allow air to enter its core and that air refracts light. As a result the opal shines brilliant hues of color.
I don’t know your circumstances but I know that in my life there are many flaws and sadly I used to believe that those flaws would disqualify me from serving God and loving others.
As I have gotten older I realize it is in those imperfections where God has used my life to bless others the most. I allowed God to breathe life into me through prayer time and reading scripture. His light fills those cracks and flaws and shines out to others. I am always amazed by His mercy.
I also found out that if opals are kept in a cold dark place they lose their luster. Have you ever felt like your life circumstances leave you feeling cold and lost in the dark?
The amazing fact is that the luster of the opal can be returned if it is held in a warm hand or exposed to the light. Our souls are much the same if we turn them over to God’s loving hands.
I stood in the museum with the sharp awareness that I was comparing my life to that of the opal. It is when I am warmed by God’s love that my life takes on color and the brilliance of Christ. He can shine through my brokenness.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
has shown in our hearts to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV
Have you ever felt disqualified to love others because of your brokenness?
By Sherri Crandall
Wife to Rusty, Mom of 4
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Associate Director of Women’s Ministry at Mission Hills Church