This week, the saga of the topaz continues. Last week I wrote about finding a turquoise colored sparkling gem in the parking lot of an ice cream parlor. For me, the November birthstone was a proclamation of my granddaughter’s impending birth, but I also found parallels to the birth of Christ. So, after Lilliana was born, I decided to seek wise counsel on the unexpected find.
There were three jewelry stores close to home that I thought might be reputable and able to discern the nature of my treasure. I chose Diamond International, although feeling sheepish about having them do an analysis on a piece that might be merely plastic. I wanted to make sure that I was dealing with truly knowledgeable people who had the experience and the equipment to tell me the value, so I ventured to the store. I arrived at a corner building of the outdoor plaza feeling a little excited and hopeful. The front door was locked and had a security guard to let me in. There were several customers, mainly young couples (perhaps looking for engagement settings). Even so, I was immediately approached by a young man who inquired how he may help me. “I have a gemstone that looks like a topaz, which is the birthstone of my granddaughter born last week. Is there someone who can tell me if it is authentic?” I asked. “Yes, of course and congratulations,” he said, and immediately took my little baggie to the back. While waiting, I admired the myriad diamonds and modern settings, and then looked at my ring finger with fond memories of when my hubby asked me to marry him. David was back lickity-split, and kindly told me, “The piece has many abrasions on it and this indicates that it is synthetic of some kind.” Slightly disappointed, but not at all surprised, I wondered how to proceed. “Would you like a price on having it set and put on a sterling chain?” he asked. “Yes please, that would be nice,” I replied, and scanned the crowd of customers that were cooing and trying on rings. David was back again immediately stating that it would be about three hundred dollars. I wanted to ask if they had something in fools gold, but I politely declined his offer. “Thank you, but that would make more sense if it were a genuine stone. Merry Christmas, and I really appreciate your time.”
So, the analogy of Jesus continues. My treasure had abrasions most likely from being tossed about on pavement. Our Savior of the world was examined by authorities and mocked. When he was questioned, tested, and whipped, he was abraded, bruised and bloodied. He was proclaimed to be a heretic and false prophet, but He proved them wrong in the miraculous and inexplicable resurrection.
The thought of a chain for my gem is now out of the question; Christ breaks our chains and frees us from all fears that bind us. Then it occurred to me that my topaz is a representation of each of us as we strive to be genuine and sparkling, when in fact we are not even a diamond in the rough. We are only replicas that are easily abraded. Since we are made in the image of God, it is God who wonderfully perfects us through his love and mercy. My humble little gem will be a reminder of our rough beginning. Every person we meet carves a new facet in us that allows us to refract a light from above. May our words reflect the light and not our abrasions. May our actions add facets to the lives of others, whether they look like mined gems, cut crystals, or laboratory molded plastic. None of us are fake, but just a reflection of our experiences. We all have value and potential. Merry Christmas to you, and praise to the heavens; for unto you is born this day, a child, who is Christ the Lord. Set your gem to let the light shine through.