This morning, I held something quite ordinary in my hand: a rock. At least, it looked quite ordinary from the outside. It was a somewhat grubby-looking, tannish-gray rock, oddly lumpy in shape, with a rough texture. It wasn’t streaked with beautiful colors; it hadn’t been smoothed into a graceful shape by wind or water. It was just, well, a rock.
But then my son and I went at it with a hammer. One good, solid WHACK! and it broke into two large pieces plus a few smaller ones. And all of a sudden, it became something much more interesting and much more beautiful than a common, ordinary rock.
It was a geode; a rock formed from minerals trapped inside a bubble of hardening lava. Our research told us that most geodes contain white quartz crystals, but some have purple amethyst. Ours was pure white on one side with just a hint of gray and purple on the other. We held it in the sunlight and watched the interior sparkle and glisten, almost appearing to move like a living creature. It was lovely and fascinating. But on the outside, you would never have guessed there was so much beauty within, just waiting to be set free.
We often say, “You can’t tell a book by its cover,” and it is so true. Books, geodes, and people all require a closer look, a study below the surface, a deeper examination of the contents, before their worth can be fairly judged. Some may sparkle on the outside but be inwardly dull and empty. Others may look dull and unimpressive on the exterior but bear jewels of great worth inside. But you have to get inside to know. You can’t just look at what’s in the hand.
In the hand.