Lessons from the Jade Factory
While we were in China, we were given a tour of a jade factory. We first saw how the carvers work to make the jade pieces into their final products such as the happiness ball and other carvings. Next we were taken to a room that had beautiful pieces too big and expensive for most people to even think about buying. It was here that our guide taught us how to tell if a piece is real jade or not. The first test is sound. If you take a small rod of jade and hit the piece you are testing with it, you should get a ringing sound not a thud like sound. The second test uses light. True jade is transparent when you shine light upon it. You can kind of see that in the bowl above. Lastly we learned that jade is not just green but is different colors such as white, black, pink, even brown. Each jade has a different purpose depending on its hardness. Some jade is best used for sculpting or carving. Other jade is better for bracelets or other jewelry.
Just like Jade, followers of Jesus are set apart by our sound and transparency. In regards to sound, our words should be spoken with grace and truth. We should be thankful not complaining. We should worship not boast. When light shines upon us, we should be transparent. In our transparency may others see our love for God. May they also see that we are not perfect but serve a God who forgives and helps us to be more like him. May they see that what we have is real not just a face we put on each day. Lastly, just as Jade comes in different colors and has different purposes, so do followers of Christ. God does not make clones. He makes each of us for a unique purpose. In this alone is beauty. It is when we as followers of Christ remember this that his body functions best.
I was reminded of this last point, this weekend as I gathered with the women from our team here for a retreat. We are 13 ladies from all over the world, the US, Canada, Switzerland, and Finland. Some of us are outgoing and others are introverts. Some work at the school like I do. Others have the gift of leadership. Some are busy with little ones. Some play important roles in helping our team function well. Even though we are very different, we are all here to serve and long to see salvation in this land. So this weekend as we learned how to be intentional women, we worshipped, shared and prayed for God to be glorified in the days ahead as we continue to do what God has called us to do.