Sermon in a Stone

A friend gave me an unusual gift – an agate geode with quartz crystals. I’ll give the short version of what it is with the little trick I played on my four-year-old grandson. You can find more detail and other pictures on an Internet search.

I held it like the picture that begins this blog and asked Benjamin what he saw. He looked at me like I was a befuddled grandmother and said, “A rock.” Then I turned it over so that it’s inner crystals caught the sunlight. His matter-of-fact answer quickly turned into an “Ooooh!”

Perhaps it’s the preacher’s daughter in me that saw a sermon in the stone. I thought of a story Daddy loved to tell about one of his rural church members that I will call Mr. Smith. When he came to church, he wore his dress overalls and shoes. That was the peak of his style. It wasn’t that this successful farmer could not afford better, just that he dressed to please himself.

One day, Mr. Smith decided he needed a new car and took himself to the dealership in town. A young salesman came out to talk to him and condescendingly began to talk about a used car and payment plans. Fortunately, the dealer who knew Mr. Smith saw him come onto the lot and intervened quickly.

When their business was finished, the dealer took the young man aside and admonished him about going with his first impression.  “Mr. Smith,” he said, “could have written you a check for any car on this lot.”

I keep the geode next to my computer where it catches the light from the lamp and keeps the sermon in sight that what looks like a rock might hide quartz crystals, and one does not know what wealth of either money or character hides beneath a person’s outward appearance.