Thursday, December 21, 2017

A gift and He makes all things beautiful in his time (Ecclesiasties 3:11)

For our thirtieth wedding anniversary my wife Kris gave me a wonderful Pounamu Toki. We both really liked this particular piece with the deep green colour and the paler flecks running through it. They look like flaws in the stone, but it is those possible flaws that make the pendant stand out and speak to us.

How Pounamu is formed probably explains the colouration... The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand describes the formation process of Pounamu from a geological perspective.

Geologists have determined that nephrite and bowenite formed deep in the earth, probably at depths in excess of 10 kilometres. Hot fluids caused a chemical reaction in zones where volcanic and sedimentary rocks were in contact, which produced narrow deposits of pounamu. High-quality pounamu is usually surrounded by altered material classed as serpentine.

As the mountains of the South Island were formed over the last two million years, the narrow bands containing pounamu were lifted up to the earth’s surface. The action of rivers and glaciers released the stone from its host rock into screes, river gravel and glacial deposits. Pounamu continues to be carried into rivers and down to the sea by erosion. In the more accessible areas, any exposed pounamu has been quickly collected.

then once the stone is collected the artist carver fashions it to bring out the beauty in it. Using the skills and talents God has given him.

I've given my Toki a name (if I am allowed to do such a thing and this isn't just cultural appropriation) I've called it Ataahua which is Maori for beauty. Firstly because it reminds me of my wonderful and beautiful wife and thirty years of great marriage and companionship, which hasn't be accomplished with out its pressures and having to work hard to craft it.

But also because Ataahua is the word that appears in Ecclesiastes 3:11 at the end of the preachers list of all the seasons and times of life... affirming that God makes all thing beautiful in his time. 'I hanga e ia nga mea katoa kia ataahua i tona wa ano:' and that he has placed eternity in the hearts of man.

It reminds me to have hope in God's sovereignty and purposes. It speaks of God's  continued work in my life through Christ's presence by the Holy Spirit; shaping me, making me whole, somehow with the pain and sorrow and the strong depth that are forged in pressure into something beautiful... and a prayer that God would continue to do so and allow me to similarly like a Toki or adze be used to help speak that beauty into other peoples lives.

As a New Zealander (kiwi) I am aware that God speaks to me more and more  through the bounty, culture and artistry of this land.

I was also very honoured to have my supervisor for the past four years rev Tim Pratt bless it before I wore it. It was appropriate to have someone who had spoken into my life and had been a friend for most of my life, to do it...

No comments:

Post a Comment