Matthew 10:26-31 Don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed . . . Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God . . . What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
“Long before Marco Polo found his way to Asia, Burmese warriors were embedding the stones under their skin to make them invincible in battle . . . That rubies even exist, says Peter Heaney, geosciences professor at Penn State University, is something of a ‘minor geological miracle.’” https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/the-geology-of-rubies
Neide, a young woman who worked at our mission office in São Paulo, Brazil, hungered for God. She wanted every part of herself to be cleansed and healed from her messy background. She longed for the fruits of God’s Spirit to flourish in her soul.
I didn’t know this until we were assigned to the same small group to meet regularly and pray for each other. Neide asked for time outside of those weekly encounters, to open her heart fully to the Lord’s work in her life.
We talked once about being rough gems pulled from the darkness of mines and now placed in the hands of a skilled lapidary who saw the unique beauty in each of us. He could clean, grind, facet and polish us until we glowed for him. A painful process, often. But in his hands, we were safe.
A walk and then a long bus ride brought Neide to work each day and took her home. She began to use that time to soak in God’s love for her.
One morning, Neide didn’t show up for work. Her brutalized body was found tossed behind bushes between her bus stop and her home.
When I think of who is in Heaven with our daughter Karis, sometimes I think of Neide sparkling in her worship, joyfully offering her whole self in praise to the Lord she loved more than life.
The Lord God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How wonderful and beautiful they will be! (Zechariah 9:16-17)