If you're not from the Pacific Northwest or a beach comber, you might not recognize what these are. Any guesses? Agates! Agates are a semi-precious stone and they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. Agates found at the ocean are often unique from God's own stone tumbler - waves. My family has been looking for agates about 100 years now. Some are more obsessed than others (I think I fit in the middle). My Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Doodlebug love to hunt for agates and awhile back Marilyn told Jack that when she went on their next trip, she'd bring him home a gallon bag of agates.
True to her word - ONE GALLON ZIPLOC BAG FULL OF AGATES! Sorry to shout, but my lifetime supply of agate hunting could maybe fit in two gallon ziplocs or maybe even a gallon and a quart... but never on one trip and never did I dream of giving away all those that I found. But Marilyn did.
Love is not self seeking. That's what we read in 1 Corinthians 13. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to canonize my Aunt! But what an incredible work of love she gave to bring joy into Jack's life, which at the moment probably seems pretty weary. His goal now is to find that many himself! :-) Or at least a few beauties like the one above.
I think that the whole gift is so amazing because most collectors hoard and do not share, even if they are kind and generous people otherwise. And it struck me how we all have different gifts. We are studying Job right now in Sunday School, so I've been thinking a lot about the things we do and say when someone is suffering. Many people are gifted in ways that allow them to serve and help and some of us aren't sure what to do. Or, I think sometimes we are immobilized by thinking that we don't have the gift we should. We think we should have the gift of nursing and don't even think that giving agates is a gift. Perhaps there were 9 nurses/nurturers/caregivers (all of whom are appreciated!) and only 1 agate giver - would not that one brighten the day?
For me, the lesson learned is that there are many ways we can give and be used by God and that I should not put Him in a box thinking it can only happen in certain ways. Does that make sense? I know what some of my gifts are, but they don't always seem practical or I don't think they are like other people's gifts. They are not. They shouldn't be. God has given me my own gifts and in Ephesians, Paul tells us that He created good works for me to do even before I was born! I don't have agates to give to Jack. Well, I do, but I'm not gonna! :-) LOL And that's okay. Because God isn't asking me to be Marilyn. He's asking me to be me!
So, what's my job now? I think I'm the squeaky wheel... will you grease me? My job is to ask for PRAYER!
Please pray for Jack. Tuesday is his last radiation treatment. When I talked to him today I asked him how he felt and he said, "Like I'm in the middle of a battle." All that poison of the chemo and radiation takes it's toll on a person. And the side effects don't stop with the last treatment. Please pray for relief from dry heaves and other ill side effects. Ask the Father to be restoring his body, healing it, mending it, rejuvenating him. There will be about a month for his body to recuperate before chemo begins again. I will keep you all posted.
Thank you! Jack and Ruth thank you! We love you! Please keep praying!