Many years ago my brother worked in a copper mine. He worked above ground most of the time, but every now and then he had to go below. Each time he would bring up beautiful rocks – geodes and sparkling quartz formations that delighted me when he brought them home. One day he brought me a natural prism. It was a piece of quartz, a bit opaque and about two inches high, smooth on three sides, but not polished. My brother showed me how to hold it up to the light so that faint gleams of colour could appear inside it.
I have that tiny prism on my desk and it has become a symbol of my ministry. The three sides represent writing, speaking and teaching. The base is Christ.
I also have a shining diamond shaped crystal hanging in the window that is polished and many- faceted. When the light strikes it, colours shoot out, painting bright rainbows all over the room. It too has become a symbol of my ministry and the work required to make rainbows.
When I look at those two prisms, the one that is rough and dull, the other that is clear and shining, I am reminded that I must work at my craft so that God’s light can burst through. My first drafts are like the natural prism – when I look at it I see the prism itself, but not the light; the colours are there, but they are hidden, trapped inside. I have to fashion and polish the facets – the plot, the characters, the themes, the very paragraphs and words – to such an extent that I, as the author, am unseen. Then only what is true, the light, will be seen by the world.
God does the same with my life, if I’ll let Him. The more I move into His presence, the more he polishes and perfects me. The more I open up my heart and mind to Him, the more He transforms me. In the end, I will be like a clear prism that no one will see. They’ll just see His light bursting forth from inside me. The Scriptures promise that some day we will be like Him. Some day.
But for now I keep working toward that perfected prism, in my work and in my life, knowing that we must “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..” (Hebrews 12:2).