Dear friends

A few years ago I became interested in gemstones.  I am fascinated by their variety, formation and extraction from the earth.  They were
created by the forces of nature several tens of millions of years ago and the process of extracting them from the host rock and the skills of the gem cutters is truly amazing.

Recently when reading about these stones I was struck by their similarity to ourselves.  They have had a unique start in life just like us and each one has unique characteristics as we do. Let's examine a few together.

The  opal is a magical stone.  It is opaque and yet displays flashes of five colours and is difficult to see through.  Some of us are difficult to get to know but when time is spent with us our true colours shine through.

The diamond is a stone we are all familiar with.  It has a beautiful
brilliance and can display the entire colour spectrum of the
rainbow.  These stones remind me of the more straight forward
personalities amongst us.

Amber is an organic gem created from fossilised resin, the sap of
ancient trees.  It has gorgeous hues of golden yellow through to red and brown and absorbs the warmth of the wearer.  We all know people who have a natural warmth and we feel an affinity towards them.

Emeralds and rubys are considered the most prized of gems and yet all emeralds are flawed and most rubies are heat treated or fissure filled to improve their brilliance and colour.  We are all imperfect and at times, need to take a good hard look at ourselves.  We must look for the best in ourselves and others.  The Bible says "We have this treasure in
earthen vessels" , which means everyone we deal with has "treasure"  but it comes in a flawed "earthen vessel".  We must look for that treasure and  value it for , when people feel appreciated they usually try to meet with our expectations.

In conclusion let's take a look at my favourite gemstone, the
moonstone.  It has the colour of the moon but is famous for its inner glow which makes it a good focal point for meditation.  Perhaps you know someone who possesses an inner glow.  They are rare but they do exist. The moonstone is said to embrace cycles of change and diminish anxiety about the future.  Most of us desire improvement in ourselves and in our churches but at the same time we resist change. Change is
only possible if we want it badly enough.  We must have trust that God will help us in His way and in His time for when He closes one door He opens another and we must in faith take courage and be willing to walk through it.

   With every good wish,

                      Pat Jessop                        

Norristhorpe

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