Precious stones

Correct me, O Lord, but in justice:
not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?
Will you be to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail?
Therefore thus says the Lord:
"If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall be as my mouth.
For I will satisfy the weary soul, 
and every languishing soul I will replenish."
~ Excerpts from Jeremiah 10, 15, 31 that have watered me this past week ~


My children are the progeny of generations of rock pickers.  The ancient beaches of Lake Superior, where the hearts of stones wash up and glitter on every strand, agates born from lava and metamorphic rock that has undergone intense heat or pressure - as we've walked these beaches over generations, we've learned to see the gleam of the semiprecious stones among the common ones.  These little pebbles form in the veins or centers of those rocks that have undergone the worst possible conditions, and are the sparkling jewels of the Lake Superior shores that we eagerly hunt for each time we visit.  Here Rosy is running to me with her find, a blazing red Binghamite pebble.  We keep a bag on hand for the ordinary rocks, the grainy granite, quartz-dotted basalt, red pitted rhyolite and  smooth, worry stone slates.  A bottle or jar holds the really precious ones - the agate hearts, the agate shards, quartzes of all colors, jasper, green epodite, and sometimes even geodes, flint, tiger's eyes and fool's gold.


I see reminders everywhere that disaster breeds strength, walking through fire polishes new beauty, hardship and cold and sorrow reap reward.  I see it in the jar full of rocks created by the destructive heat of a lava flow that ripped through the heart of this land I love.


I see it in the ditches full of wildflowers - yellow, white, purple, pink, orange, blue, crimson.  We live in a land where there is a winter.  Where the ice freezes us nearly to the bone and the chill of the winter wind drains the strength from your blood.  Yet the blanket of snow is what waters the earth for this beautiful summer of glorious beauty.  Without freezing deep and storing up water on the surface during the famine time of winter, there is no bountiful harvest.  In the desert, water in any form is precious.  Here, it is plentiful - but sometimes frozen.  Sometimes we have to wait - have faith - that spring will someday come and the fields will bloom again.




Amy has had two more days of clustered seizures - just the partial kind, but, to tell the truth, those are the more difficult to deal with on a day-to-day basis.  She is transformed from a low-needs, creative, exuberant, exploring almost 4 year old to something like an infant, but an infant with complexities and confusion mixed in. Mothering is difficult...living is difficult...it is deep grieving to watch her during these times.  Like icing on the suffering cake, heart failure seems to be returning to me after a long hiatus of almost 10 years.  Yesterday I gained 10 pounds, and today I gained 10 more.  The heaviness of the extra water that my heart cannot drive through my kidneys is a burden.  The heaviness in my chest brings fear as well as burden.  I struggle to know which doctor to call...when to fit it in...whether or not to accept treatment.  Burdens, burdens.  Yet even that word - "burdens" - reminds me of an old tune that soothes and uplifts.  I am reminded that winter brings wildflowers springing by the billions from the newly thawed ground; and fire burns beauty in veins of color through the hearts of stone.  Someday - be it here or heaven - our wildflower summer will come.  Someday we will see the beauty wrought in our human hearts - these hearts that were stone before Life breathed into them - by the fire and pressure of this time of testing.

Days are filled with sorrow and care,
Hearts are lonely and drear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Cast your care on Jesus today
leave your worry and fear
Burdens are lifted at Calvary
Jesus is very near

Troubled soul, the Saviour can see,
Ev'ry heartache and tear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary
Jesus is very near.
~ hymn by John Moore, 1952