Diamonds are Where You Find Them
Diamonds are where you find them. The actual saying is gold is where you find it. I am using it in reference to diamonds. A day or two ago I read about a hundred and two carat diamond found in Canada which was auctioned for over fifteen million US dollars. That’s a lot of money for a chunk of carbon. A very special chunk of carbon to be sure.
Diamonds are formed deep in the earth’s mantle hundreds of miles below the surface where extreme heat and pressure alter the structure of the carbon molecule. I learned this in first year organic chemistry in university. It’s all about the way carbon atoms form into a very tightly packed crystal.
I’ve also read that the world could be awash in diamonds were it not for a diamond cartel led by DeBeers diamonds. Everyone supports restricting the supply including everyone who has ever bought a diamond ring or other jewellery. Would you want that diamond that cost a couple thousand dollars to suddenly be worth six dollars and fifty cents? No, me either.
There’s a little book I’ve read a time or two by Russell Conwell called “Acres of Diamonds”. The story is about an African farmer who envied others becoming rich discovering diamonds. He sold his farm and went prospecting, but found nothing and threw himself into a river in despair. Meanwhile, the new owner of the farm saw a large sparkly rock in a creek on the farm. You guessed it: he had sold a farm that contained acres of diamonds because he just could not see what he had. The book is dated in some of its ideas, but is a fun read.
In Canada as elsewhere, diamonds are usually found in geologic structures called kimberlite pipes which are vertical seams of rock extending to the surface from the mantle, generally as a result of ancient volcanic activity. These pipes emerge at the surface in round depressions. In the Canadian north, diamonds were only discovered recently because those diamond bearing structures filled with snow and ice and water and look like the infinitesimal number of small pot-hole lakes and ponds all across the sub-arctic.
Generations of bush pilots flew over them and probably landed on them without knowing what lay beneath the water and ice. They couldn’t see them because they didn’t know what they were looking at.
The author of the letters of John in the Bible writes this: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
In other words, we don’t appreciate who we are or who others are because we don’t know what we’re looking at. If we just judge by what we see with our eyes, we miss the picture. But John reminds us that while our eternal identity may not be immediately apparent, we will see the true self of others including ourselves when we are permanently re-united with Jesus, either in death or his return. I do believe in a return, but am not waiting up at nights for it.
The people you see in your own home, on the bus, in class or on the job have been invested with an eternal identity which is generally hidden, and more so in some folks. There are some in whom the image of Christ actually shines through.
But regardless of whether it’s a damaged identity or a shiny one, remember what you’re looking at. A real gem in the flesh and valuable to their creator.