Precious gems become precious because they are created. They survive trauma, heat, and severe change. They emerged victorious from hardship, intense pressure and prolonged stress. What goes in the earth as rubble or something discarded can emerge as the most precious of all gems.

Long ago Ruth was thrown, like all refuse, in a big hole far away from others. Her whole life, she felt unwanted and out of place. When something is unwanted it is mistreated and mistreat anything enough it eventually mistreats back. Mistreatment made Ruth dark and edgy, hard to handle and prickly. Eventually she had caused so much pain she was thrown into the great hole with others that caused pain. The community was glad to be rid of her and she was glad to finally be left alone.

To protect herself from the others in the hole she struck out often and surrounded herself with pieces of rubble like armor. Over time more and more rubble was thrown on top of her causing immense stress and pressure from all sides. The great hole began to change her body and disposition over time. What was once dull and barely noticeable on her was now luminescent and colorful. Ruth become a hard and mighty stone, a beacon for others like her in the dark depths of the Earth.

Then one morning, sitting quietly by herself she felt herself become seen by something beyond her comprehension. Suddenly a great light shone on her as her world shook. She felt a set of great hands swaddle her and a comforting voice said “Ah, look at you my child, it is time for you to become what you were meant to be. You are finally ready.”

“Who are you? Where are you taking me?” she asked.

“I am the Refiner,” the voice boomed “and I will take what is beautiful inside of you and show you to the world. The world may have buried you as refuse, passed you over, but I will refine you in my fire and present you as a precious gem. This is what I do.”

Like a cocoon Ruth was placed inside a great kiln and the Refiner’s fire enveloped her. The great heat applied itself and Ruth cried out in fear “Refiner, Refiner, why are you doing this to me?!”

“I am here, ” the voice replied calmly from outside the kiln “I know just how to transform you. You must trust me, I will not give you more than you can handle.”

As the heat intensified she cried out again, tears flowing down her now glowing body “Let me go Refiner, this is too much, it is too intense!” she begged.

“I am here,” they replied “if I take you out now you will not reach your full potential. If I lower the heat you will not shine as bright. I need you to trust me. Too hot and you will break, too long and you will shatter. You are unique and require my expertise to transform. I know the exact temperature, the exact length of time it will take to transform you. Know that I am here.”

Ruth succumbed to the words of the Refiner knowing in her heart that this was necessary for her to be happy. After all she had been through, trusting was hard but she was determined she would not remain as she once was. Ruth was going to change, no matter how hard it was, and finally be her truest and happiest self. She never wanted to hurt anyone else again. Instead she wanted to bring hope and beauty to others. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine her new form, the new heights she will reach.

Then, suddenly, she felt the heat go away and the kiln open up. The Refiner cupping her once more. Slowly she felt her rough exterior begin to be ground away. As each rough piece she once thought protected her fell from her body a new brightly colored piece of her she had never seen before emerged. Before long she was able to see two beautiful wings who’s beauty she had never thought possible.

As the last piece fell from her body the Refiner said to her “My child, you have endured pain and pressure. Stress and torment to your core, but look at you now. I know it hurt and while you cried I cried with you. Tear for tear. But look at what you’ve become. There is nothing like you in this world, your value and beauty is like none other. Go free and fulfill your purpose, you have nothing to fear any longer.”

Ruth felt herself lift from the ground, her wings carrying her with ease. No longer did she feel the weight of her past life, her past form. The old her was gone, transformed into new. With the lessons of her past etched in her mind she set out to soar into the world with renewed purpose.

We are all in prison of one form or another. Prison can be a womb or a tomb. You can go there and finish dying or be rebirthed. The choice is yours. But be warned, if you don’t decide, the choice will be made for you. The option to choose life never goes away.

I chose life, now watch me soar…

by Ruth A. Utnage