I’ve always loved geodes. I love looking at the sparkly centers often mixed with rich color. I like seeing them in museums, in rock collections or in pictures online, but what I really would like, is to find my own “ordinary” rock, crack it open and have it surprise me with the luster inside. I’m guessing a lot of us that feel that way.
When my son, Gavin, was in third grade I used to go help his teacher with whatever she needed each week. Sometimes I ended up doing multiplication flashcards. Well, not sometimes. Almost every single time that year. Maybe his teacher thought I needed more help with multiplication!
I got to know many of the kids well, some better than others as those kids truly struggled with their times tables.
One of them was a little boy (I’ll call him Ben) that wasn’t always dressed nicely and he didn’t always get along with others. He wasn’t easy to work with in class and he had troubles on the playground. As time went on, I learned that his family moved around a lot. Things weren’t always great for him at home.
Like I mentioned, that year, I did those cards week after week. It was not an exhilarating experience. It was often boring. When some of the kids, like Ben, didn’t seem to progress or even want to try, it just added to the tedium. (I admire teachers that keep coming back each year.)
Then one day, as we were working on the cards, something happened. I can’t even remember what it was (yes, I know, I have a problem with memory as shown in all my blog posts), but Ben showed me this flash of brilliance. Suddenly I was excited to work with him! Instantly, I understood what a great thing Ben had inside of him and that all of his home and playground tussles were hiding this.
I was eager to go back the next week and work on those cards with him again. In fact, I think I asked to do so. Somewhere in there, was this brilliant little boy who had who knows what other talents and I hoped that I could help to be part of bringing those out in the open.
The Sciencing website describes a geode as “a nondescript spherical rock from the outside — a bit lumpy and ugly“. When you pick up a geode you may find it lighter than you expect a rock of its size to be since it is hollow. Then when you open the geode you find the delightful crystals nestled in the hollows of the rock.
This fit Ben. I had found my human geode!
Geodes are formed when there is a void or bubble in dirt or rock. Water will seep into this void, bringing minerals along with it . Years go buy and these minerals form crystals.
Today as I listened to a guided meditation app, I heard something that somewhat describes this process in humans:
“Everything that happens in our life, no matter how big or small, can affect your life. You can choose to take lessons from any situation no matter how harsh, and use it to grow and become a better person. Everything can have a positive reason in the end.”
Whether or not you believe that, I feel it fits the geode idea. Sometimes you are empty inside. The water comes in and you might think it is drowning you. Not only that, it brings along little granules that clump together and form sharp points. You sit that way for years or decades, sometimes feeling like no one sees you in your rough, dull exterior. You might feel common or even ugly.
Inside of you though, if you use these experiences to grow, the water (some call it living water) will be forming colorful, glistening crystals inside each of us.
When I went back to the school the next time I found out that, once again, Ben had moved somewhere else with his family. How disappointed I was. I wish that I, and all those around him, would have seen that flash of brilliance the first time we met him. Can you imagine his life if everyone was so excited to see him because they knew about the geode inside?
There is a verse in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16:7) that goes along with this.
“…Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature …for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
How often do we look on the hearts of all the bumpy rocks around us? How often do we see the crystals forming in others or inside ourselves?
I’d love to hear how you found your human geode or how you discovered the geode inside of yourself. Please share your stories in the comments.