Emeralds grow out of quartz crystal. They grow. I cannot begin to understand it. The bright green emerges from the grey stone and does so in the pressure and fire of the earth on which we walk.
And so too, it seems to me, life will make beauty just the way the earth seems to, and with similar drama. The bright and green emerges from the dark and grey and so we just keep going, keep praying, keep hoping, keep being true to ourselves while green emeralds form beneath our feet and within our souls.
I was sitting with a friend in the green park next to the cathedral this week. We were engaged in that time-treasured act of lending each other courage for the journey. At one point, I mentioned the words carved in granite over the doors of the library in which I spend so many hours in seminary. Every time one were to cross that threshold into that building, Phillips Brooks’ words hung heavy and prophetic above your head:
“Speak the truth. Lead where it may. Cost what it will.”
That is what Jesus modeled. That is what we do. We pray. We think. We discuss. We discern. Then we speak.
Or we speak without doing these things and all Hell breaks lose on an already tired world.
And we do this internal work in the hands of a loving God, not an angry one. How we imagine God, as we speak to God, influences what we say. As Phillip Brooks also said
“Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance, but taking hold of God’s willingness.”