The Lump of Coal

Sometimes a recollection is sparked by a story of many years ago. My brother was very gifted as a grade school student and he wrote a story about a lump of coal that impressed my parents that someone at that young age could think in a relatively abstract manner.

You see this lump of coal thought he was worthless when the other elements around him had definite uses. The diamond was bright and brought attention to the person that owned him, gold, of course makes a beautiful ring or bracelet and copper is often used in art to decorate our homes. So, the lump of coal, kind of a dull black, and very dusty was not craved for any of these reasons.

There are times in our lives when we too feel like that lump of coal, unneeded, unnoticed and quite alone. “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” Luke 15: 3-5 ESV. With Christ we are never alone or forgotten because He is always with us no matter the situation.

Today, it seems, there are so many situations that separate us from the love of our Savior, and it is sometimes difficult to return to the comfort and safety of His arms. This is when it is necessary to go God’s word. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. “2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 ESV.

In my brother’s story eventually the lump of coal finds he is the source of power and energy and has a very useful life. just like when we accept God’s word and learn to trust Him and follow the path He has defined for each of us.

I miss my brother and look forward to the day I will be with him in heaven, and I think of his story, so far beyond his young years. In the meantime, in his honor, I will tell the story of the lump of coal and how even a lowly lump of coal is loved by the designer of the universe, our Savior Jesus Christ.