Tamarajo is an avid Bible Studier who loves nothing more than to seek out the treasures in God's Word and share them with others.
A Rock and Word Hound at Heart
I am a professed and sometimes even obsessed rock hound that can barely look up when in the presence of rocks. Most people wonder what I'm looking for as I scan the ground methodically in search of a prized gem.
In the Beginning
My love of rocks began at the age of thirteen when my father took me on vacation to Duluth, Minnesota, about four hours north of my hometown. He was a contemplative person, as was I. Therefore, I was quite content to sit for long periods silently by the shores of Lake Superior, sifting through rocks and stuffing my pockets with all the pretty ones I could find. Dad was perfectly content to sit quietly and watch.
I don't recall finding any of the coveted Lake Superior Agates I saw in the gift shops along the scenic North Shore that trip. Still, I was so amused by them that I did a diligent search in every place we went to. The years passed, and I forgot all about agates but continued to collect any stone I found worthy of keeping that I would randomly find in various places.
Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul keeps them.
— Psalm 119:129
The Parallel Experience
My interest in agates several years ago while attaching a directional sign to a pole on our gravel road near our home for my granddaughters baby shower. As I stepped into the ditch, something caught my eye. It was a beautifully banded Lake Superior agate.
I was surprised to learn that Lake Superior agates can be found as far south as Iowa along what is known as the mid-continental rift, also known as the "Broken heart of North America." This rift begins north of the Great Lakes and runs south to Alabam. It just so happens to pass right through an area along the way. These beauties are predominantly discovered in the gravel. I have been walking and running on dusty lackluster gravel for several years and never thought to look down for a hidden treasure. After discovering my first beauty and learning there was more, the hunt was on.
There was a parallel to this experience in that when I was thirteen, I also came to know my Father in Heaven through my Lord Jesus Christ. Our family up until then was a chaotic mess. My mother came to know the Lord through a friend and subsequently began to make some dramatic life decisions and changes born from her newly developing relationship with God. She shared her faith with me, and I gladly accepted and welcomed both the faith and the changes that came with it. A far "Superior" way of life had been discovered, and although things weren't perfect, they were undoubtedly heading in the right direction.
The Treasure of His Word
"There are deep things about Jesus in the Old Testament, which many walk over like hidden gold mines, not knowing the treasure beneath their feet."
— J.C. Ryle
The friend who invited my mother to church also bought me a Bible, and like my love for agates, I became amazed by the comforting and correcting beauty of God's stunning Word that so uniquely addressed my need. I caught glimpses of treasures lying just beneath the surface of what most consider a colorless old dusty ancient piece of literature.
I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.
— Psalm 119:162
For Your word has given me life.
However, beginning in my late teens, I took an awful ten-year detour and forgot about His Word and the beauty of it, in search of more worldly pursuits, just as I did the agates. Without Jesus, my life became a chaotic mess far surpassing the very things I hated growing up until Jesus by His Holy Spirit led this prodigal girl back home at around age 28.
It was then that a faithful Bible Study teacher Jean Karau began to show me the hidden treasures in the Word of God that I could not take my eyes off. She showed me how His Word is multi-layered bands of revelation that could be mined and quarried by anyone willing to do a diligent search, and just as with my experience with the agate, the hunt was on. A lesson in agate hunting, and Bible gem discoveries, is that neither is discovered apart from diligently seeking them.
My son, if you receive my words,And treasure my commands within you So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,And find the knowledge of God.
— Proverbs 2:1-5
It is also worthy to note the parallel of both agate hunting and Bible study, in that the best way to discover what is false is to study the real thing intently. I most recently was at a kids' summer camp where we had a few spare moments while we waited for our ride from the pool back to camp and decided to show some of the kids, who were interested, the little beauties in the playground pea rock. I happened to find an excellently banded sample, and whenever one of them would ask if a stone they had found was an agate, I would hold out the real one to them and have them compare. So it is with the Bible. We need to be Berean like with all the things "not God" surrounding us in this world, including false teachings in the church. We sincerely, like the Bereans, need to
. . . receive the word with all readiness, and search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things are so.
— Acts 17:11
"Let us not deceive ourselves, a slothful negligent hearing of the Word will bring no man to life."
— John Owen
Rocks, in particular, fascinate me because they have been a part of the earth's substance from the very beginning. Each one tells a story of something that happened creatively speaking. Every time I pick up a rock, I find myself asking, "what happened"?
. . . speak to the earth, and it will teach you . . . That the hand of the Lord has done this.
— Job 12:8
The Testimony of Rocks
The banding on the above specimen looks very much like a fingerprint. It reminded me of the fingerprint of God on all that He has made. I believe the biblical account of God creating the heavens and the earth by His great wisdom and power and would love it if, in eternity, He would show us how that all unfolded. It would be a, sitting on the edge of one's seat, action-adventure for sure! No special effects needed.
‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm . . . '
— Jeremiah 32:17
One of the many reasons I love agates is the uniqueness of each one's banding patterns.
The Testimony of Rocks
The agate is identified predominantly by its parallel congruent bands and thought to be formed in the empty pockets of cooled lava. It is a testimony of how God creatively brings order, structure, beauty, and fulfillment out of emptiness and chaos.
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep . . . Then God said . . .
— Genesis 1:2-3
During Christs' triumphal entry, the religious rulers of the time were attempting to shush the crowd that was lauding Jesus as the Creator King of the universe. Jesus' reply to the Pharisees was this.
“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."
— Luke 19:40
How so incredibly interesting that the Hebrew word for stone is "eben" אָ֫בֶן. Its first two letters spell the Hebrew word for Father which is av אָ֫בֶ and the last two letters spell Son בֶן in Hebrew. Father and Son overlap in this word.
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me . . .
— John 14:11
Both are noted in being the creative presence and power along with the Holy Spirit, as stated in Genesis chapter one.
. . . there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
— I John 2:23
If humanity only knew
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?
— Matthew 21:42
A Poetic Interpretation
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.
— John and Mary Plunkett
Rocks Hear and Remember
These stones remembered and could testify to who He was. They recognized the voice of the words of the King of the universe who created them from the beginning and could playback (cry out) what was recorded in their substance from the beginning.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God . . . the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us.
— John 1:1,14
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . Then God said . . . and there was.
— Genesis 1:1,3
Even the rocks understood that
All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
— I Corinthians 1:16-17
Rocks are Credible Witnesses
Geologists have a saying, "atmospheres and oceans forget, but rocks remember." This saying is a reference to how geologists theorize the events that occurred in rock's formation. Liquids and gases are always moving around, but solids stay the same. This fact makes the stone a reliable witness.
This concept is demonstrated for us in an episode between Jacob and Laban.
Now therefore, come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me . . . So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. Then Jacob said to his brethren, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there on the heap . . . Then Laban said to Jacob . . . This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness.
We tend to think of sound as only able to travel through and into the atmospheres of air or fluid. But It is also now being considered in quantum physics that all matter has memory and is subject to the vibrational influences of sound waves and frequencies. This discovery is Biblically consistent with the related possibility that rocks may very well hear, remember, record, and testify.
At the end of the book of Joshua, after the children of Israel had begun to settle in the land and conquer territory, Joshua calls the people to submit, commit, and covenant themselves to wholly and faithfully follow the Lord and Him only. After the people confess that they will
Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.”
— Joshua 24:26-27
Stones are Memorial Objects
Stones have long been an ancient object of a memorial, as we see displayed in Joshua when the children of Israel finally settle into the promised land.
Take for yourselves twelve stones . . . these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.
— Joshua 4:3,7
And let us not forget the most memorable tablets of stone given to Moses on Mount Sinai that we are instructed throughout Deuteronomy not to forget.
. . . the two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.
— Exodus 31:18
Finally, In the Old Testament, altars of stone were built to commemorate an encounter with God as with Noah, Abraham, Manoah, Gideon, Jacob, etc.
Words are Things
It might be helpful for us to understand this concept of how an inanimate object can hear, record, and testify something that that appears to be inanimate if we realize that words are actual things,
In Hebrew, the predominant word for "word" is "davar" and is translated sometimes as "thing."
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing (davar) that is gone out of my lips.
— Psalm 89:34
Jesus spoke of words as things that come from the heart in the Gospel of Mark.
There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.
— Mark 7:15
Matthews's version explains that the "things" that defile are things that come out of our mouth from within us.
"Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
— Matthew 15:11
Concerning this, He also tells us that.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
— Luke 6:45
Here, we can see that words have substance and matter and are "things" that come from our heart and exit our mouth. What comes out of our mouth is so full of substance that we are warned by Jesus to consider a future accounting for them.
. . . every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
— Matthew 12:36
It's as if Jesus is warning us that everything we speak makes a difference, is heard, and recorded for good or evil. Words are things that matter.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
— Proverbs 18:21
An Excerpt About Words From a Billy Graham Devotional
The Power of Words
There is a story of a woman in England who came to her vicar with a troubled conscience. The vicar knew her to be a habitual gossip—she had maligned nearly everyone in the village. “How can I make amends?” she pleaded. The vicar said, “If you want to make peace with your conscience, take a bag of goose feathers and drop one on the porch of each one you have slandered.” When she had done so, she came back to the vicar and said, “Is that all?” “No,” said the wise old minister, “you must go now and gather up every feather and bring them all back to me.” After a long time the woman returned without a single feather. “The wind has blown them all away,” she said. “My good woman,” said the vicar, “so it is with gossip. Unkind words are easily dropped, but we can never take them back again.”
Might my words about another be ones that are spoken in the spirit of Your loving kindness, Father.
Billy Graham devotional
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer"
— Psalm 19:14
In conclusion, I hope to inspire a diligent search of the precious gems waiting to be discovered in the truth of His Word. I hope that every time you see a rock, you will remember that it cries out and testifies that God, the creator of all things, is alive and well and worthy of our highest praise!
“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they and were created.”
— Revelation 4:11
© 2014 Tamarajo
Tamarajo (author) on April 03, 2015:
Hello peachpurple, I to collect all kinds of rocks that are just simply prey or interesting. Agates are difficult to find. I think that is what makes it so rewarding to find.
Nice to meet a fellow rock fan. Thanks for stopping by and commenting
peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 03, 2015:
i do visit the beach and collect stones but not as unique as the ones you had mentioned
Tamarajo (author) on October 18, 2014:
Yes very much alike...I actually did use a tumbler and have discovered that I prefer the natural look of the rock better. I would love to see the one you talked about that looks like blood that runs down the sides...verses are coming to mind already.
I also have a jar on my desk of all my little pretties : )
What a beautiful story of your friend you visited with the white agate made me think of the white stone in Revelation...
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ~ Revelation 2
your gift was the encouragement to turn to and remember the One who could help her overcome and offer new life.
So glad for you to have stopped by and share your love of rocks and the One who made them. I appreciate your friendship!
God bless you Bob thank you for reading, sharing, encouraging and voting
Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on October 17, 2014:
You and I may be related. I have loved polished stones from the time I was a little boy. One of my fondest wishes was to have a tumbler and to polish stones myself. There was no way my parents were ever going to buy something like that because it was a hobby. I could never earn money to buy it because job money I made was considered "household" money and mom took all of that. So anytime I saw anything that resembled a smooth or colorful stone, I put it on my bed bookshelf. It seemed to me to be a treasure. I have since kept polished stones to look at and to feel their texture in my fingers. I have a bagful of them that I use as encouragements to people who need encouraging.
The last stone I used in this manner was with a dear friend of mine that always went through severe depression after she gave birth. She had many kids and I knew that with each one she would have a hard time after delivery. So I visited her in the hospital with a white agate (I think). It was a very white translucent stone polished so smooth that it felt velvety soft in your fingers. I handed it to her and she was sobbing. She said, "What's this?" I said, "It is a magic stone and if you hold it in your hand and think of the person who loves you the most, you will immediately feel better." She looked at me confused and then it dawned on the dear lady that I was speaking of Jesus and the Rock was Him. I said, "Is it working?" She sniffled and looked embarrassed, "Yes." I told her, "Now that you have used the stone once, you can remember it and it can help you in the future." She hugged me a long time and it was worth it to see her smile and hold her new baby. I have used stones like this before and it always worked to make the person feel better.
Also on my computer desk, so I can see it all the while I'm using my computer, there sits 4 polished stones. First, there is a very black one. I don't know if it is cheap onyx or just a dark agate but it is shiny inky black. This represents my struggles against the flesh and my sin that Jesus paid for. Sitting next to it is a blood stone. This is a very pretty gray and then on the gray is red streaks that look for all the world like drops of blood that have run down its sides. Then here is a very dark (almost black) worry stone and on the worry stone's thumb spot is a white stone similar to the one I gave my friend. This represents how my flesh still sins but now I have a way of escape so I don't have to sin. Jesus who is in me.
I swear we are so much alike. Probably why we were friends right from the start. I loved your article and I really related to the parallels you mentioned. Voted up and awesome and beautiful. Bob.
Tamarajo (author) on June 25, 2014:
Yes Bill certainly think we do take Bible reading for granted. In a recent poll Americans ranked the Bible as their favorite book yet only 9% read their Bible daily. How can it be our favorite book if we don't even read it?
William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 24, 2014:
I think you're right. We may take our Bibles for granted. It would be different in other parts of the world.
Tamarajo (author) on June 24, 2014:
Thank you Bill, Yes, God is sooo good His wonders never cease. Only reason for a dusty Bible should be if we have so many of them some have to wait for us to get to them : ) So grateful we are allowed to have as many copies of His Word as we want and study them however often we want. What a privilege we have and maybe don't realize.
God bless and thank you so much for the encouraging comment.
William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 24, 2014:
Another masterpiece. God is sooo good. The picture of the Bible reminded me of a visit to a home a while back. Everything was well kept; no dust anywhere, except on the Bible. It was sad, but I'm sure that wasn't the only unread Bible around. Thanks again for another eye-opener!