I spent last Monday evening talking with a stranger at Starbucks. As he confided in me, I could tell the words were catching in his throat. He looked up at me with tears in his weathered eyes and said, “I’ve never told anyone that before, and I’m 78 years old. But I can’t help it. You wear honesty the way most women wear diamonds.” When we said our goodbyes, he shook my hand and said, “You’re a jewel. Don’t ever think different.”
I’ve been hearing a lot about jewels lately. More specifically, about diamonds. Someone was praying over me recently and said, “God sees you as a diamond. He’s cutting new facets right now.” There’s a song on the radio that’s all about God making diamonds out of us when we’re in the midst of trials. A friend sent me a picture of a diamond and told me that the most beautiful jewels are just carbon that reacted well to pressure.
When I hear a theme echoing in different areas of my life, I always figure God’s handing me a lesson. I’ve been encouraged by these sentiments, but I’ve also felt like maybe I was missing something. I wasn’t meant to just feel precious and beautiful when people shared these words with me. There was something deeper to hold onto, and I wasn’t seeing it. It was nagging at me. So I spent some time in prayer, and finally my heart opened and I saw what God wanted me to see.
Here’s the thing about diamonds: they are precious and beautiful, rare and valuable. But it really isn’t the diamond itself that’s beautiful. It’s what the diamond does with light that captivates us. The way the stone takes something intangible and bends it, refracts it, allowing us to see the pieces that make up the whole. Without the light, a diamond is just another stone.
As I considered this, I remembered that one of ways that a diamond is graded for value is by its clarity. I did some quick research and found a bunch of talk about inclusions and blemishes, which led me to this: “Because they are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure, virtually all diamonds contain ‘birthmarks’: small imperfections inside the diamond (called inclusions), or on its surface (called blemishes). Clarity refers to the degree to which these imperfections are present.”
I don’t know about you, but I have my fair share of inclusions… places where the same pressures that forged me into who I am now also left their wounds. But if I am to be a diamond for God, then I am called to live with as much clarity as I can muster. Those marked places will always exist, but I can make them almost invisible to others and allow the Light to shine through me all the more clearly. I can love even though I’ve been left. I can live boldly even though I am afraid of being foolish- can be honest even though hiding is easier. I can forgive even when it isn’t fair. I can be patient when I’d rather push. I can live with complete clarity in my identity as a daughter of the King.
And then I saw this about cuts: “A diamond’s cuts unleashes its light. Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely… a diamond’s cut grade is really about how well a diamond’s facets interact with light.”
Maybe this is what it means when God makes a diamond out of you: that through the facets He cuts into you, you can interact with His Light and transmit the depth and breadth of His incredible love to others visibly. The way you love your children is a facet that refracts God’s own love for His children. The way you give to those in need, the heart you have for service, or worship, or creating… the way you pray fearlessly for others, or stand up for someone smaller than you… all facets that highlight a hue in the Father’s love. If we can allow the cuts to happen, if we can allow ourselves to be refined in the ways God means for us to be, then we can be beautiful vessels for His goodness. And what an incredible calling that can be.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7