A parting gift.
When I was in twelfth grade in South Africa, a Rotary exchange student came from Australia to join our class. Wendy fitted right in and I was delighted when she spent two months of that year living with my family and me. As a parting gift she gave me a pin – a kangaroo with an opal as its tummy. It was the first opal I had ever seen up close and personal…and this beauty was mine!
Did you know that many years ago, rulers often wore the glittering orbs to guard their power and ensure their safety. These stones were placed in their crowns to protect them from their enemies and to ward off evil. At times, opals were even ground up and consumed to protect an individual from nightmares and evil spirits (I don’t recommend this 😊).
Since then I have seen many opals, all of them different in their stunning array of colors and muted hues. It is only recently that I took the trouble to find out how these majestic gems are formed – I certainly didn’t understand all of it, but Ellice Hopkins writes about it and puts a spin on it in such a way that my heart comprehends more than my head does!
“In the first place it is made up only of desert dust, sand and silica and owes its beauty and preciousness to a defect. It is a stone with a broken heart. It is full of minute fissures (cracks) which admit air, and these particles of air reflect the light. The beautiful hues, that sweet lamp of fire that ever burns at its heart, for the breath of the Lord is in it. You (and I) are only conscious of the desert dust and the cracks (in our lives), but others see His precious opal. We must be broken in ourselves before we can give back the lovely hues, so that the lamp in his temple can burn in us & never go out.”
“My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent],
such, O God, You will not despise."