By G. E. Shuman
Sometimes we can be shown a truth and witness a lesson to be learned about some big thing we are going through, because of some smaller incident or observation that we experience. These things become object lessons from real life; they are parables that are more than stories, but real-life evidence that the bigger thing that we fear will be okay. Such is, in my belief, a thing that happened to my wife and to me just last Tuesday.
For many days before last Tuesday Lorna and I had been worrying, talking to each other, and also praying about something that was about to happen to some members of our family. Being proud parents, grandparents and great grandparents with useful experience and advice meant nothing in this situation. Those things would not be heeded; we knew that, and we did not understand why this was happening.
I was on winter break from teaching at our school. It was Tuesday afternoon, and Lorna and I were both relaxing in the living room watching a show. Suddenly Lorna let out one of those “HUUUUUUUUHHH!” noises that I can’t adequately describe the sound of. (I think she makes the sound while inhaling, if that helps clarify the idea.) Luckily this was not the worst place she has made that sound. The worst place is always when we’re silently riding together in the car and she suddenly remembers something. Then my dear wife shouted: “My diamond’s gone!” as she looked down at her ring with a now-empty setting. The ring was one I had given her on our 20th anniversary. It was her third diamond from me. My thought was that at least this diamond had lasted over 25 years.
Yes, the diamond, which was not a huge one but bigger and more expensive than I cared to think about last Tuesday, was gone. Immediately the show was turned off, my intermittent dozing throughout it was halted for good, and we began scouring every place in the house that Lorna had been recently and probably some she hadn’t been, looking for that runaway stone.
Lorna had been to the nail salon for her regularly-scheduled appointment earlier that day and frantically called them to see if they would look around the shop floor for her diamond. They said they would look, but we went back so she could see for herself.
Lorna looked in the little shop while I was assigned the task of finding the needle in the haystack, more precisely, of finding the precious stone in a parking lot full of other stones and winter rock salt chunks. After about five minutes of looking at the scattered rocks I began wondering what made that diamond any more ‘precious’ than any other rock. Strangely, later in the week, I happened upon an online article about the perceived value of the things around us, compared to their actual value. One example given was the question of whether, if you were dying of thirst in a desert, you would trade a diamond for a glass of water. The answer was that most of us likely would make that trade. Still, at that moment I would have traded all the water and snow and ice in that parking lot for the small stone I was looking for.
To make this long story as short as possible, the diamond was nowhere to be found in the nail salon or in the parking lot. Spotting it there was a long shot anyway, Lorna and I both knew.
We came home and she sat back down, probably wondering if anything else could be done about the diamond. I decided to sweep the kitchen floor, just in case. Our house has no mud room, so our kitchen floor is usually covered with the same stuff that parking lot was, except the snow, during the winter months. The dustpan was soon about a third full of sand, grit, and more rock salt. I took it to the kitchen sink and began slowly pushing the bits of dirt onto a folded paper towel with my finger.
Within a few moments I had become weary of this new search and discouraged that all I was pushing around was dirt, dust, salt, and sand from the dustpan. Then, suddenly and with a silent special sparkle, there it was. I immediately but carefully picked up the stone and took it to Lorna. I thought she was about to cry as we placed both her ring and the diamond in an envelope and sealed it tight. Within moments she was in the car and on the way to the jewelers to have the diamond reset and the ring repaired.
I know that people from many walks of life read my column regularly, and some of you will think differently than my wife and I do about what happened to us last Tuesday. Some may think that what happened was coincidence or that we somehow are reading too much into the story of the diamond.
The truth, to us, is that we have a group of family members and friends who are praying for this other, much bigger situation in our family, which is one involving the safety and future of people who are worth much more than all the diamonds that exist. Lorna’s diamond was lost, and then, against all odds, it was found. To us this true diamond story was evidence and perhaps even a planned event to show us that Almighty God cares about even the little things in our lives. If so, how much more protected are the true diamonds of the people who look to Him for help, the people that they love?