Feb 14, 2012

Holy Spirit Visits the Rock & Gem Show

My wife is a metalsmith. She creates one of a kind art jewelry by setting precious stones, fossils, meteorites, and other unusual objects in formed metal; typically silver or gold. It's been her life - long dream to attend the annual rock and gem show in Tucson, Arizona.

The show in Tucson is one of the largest in the world, drawing craftspeople and vendors from every continent for two weeks in February.

This week I had the pleasure of accompanying her on a trip to the show. I was a bit overwhelmed at the scale of it all. Vendors descend on the city taking up temporary residence in just about every vacant parking lot in town.

My wife was on a treasure hunt. She's developing a business selling the jewelry she makes. She needed some raw materials. She specializes in odd shapes and textures, combining unusual design concepts to make one of a kind creations.

(As a side note - I plan to incorporate a link to her jewelry website where her creations can be purchased. The website is still being developed)

She really likes ammonites, one of which is pictured above. This one has undergone a process of opalization, where a layer of opal forms around a fossilized sea shell. Her search brought us to a number of vendors who sell such things.

The first vendor we visited had a number of things she wanted to buy. As they worked out a deal, I couldn't help but notice all the people walking by who needed healing. I saw people using canes, wheelchairs, splints and slings everywhere I looked.

We moved to another booth. The second vendor and I struck up a conversation about God after I made a remark about all the people who needed healing. The vendor shared her own testimony of healing of a severe back injury. A few minutes later her husband joined us. He happened to be one of the men I saw limping. A few minutes later I was praying for his back and knee to be healed. It was a sight to see the four of us standing in the presence of God, half of us praying in tongues and the other half commanding pain to go.

The vendor asked us to follow her to another booth, so we did. She took us to meet her friend Diane - who is also a Christian and who became my newest Facebook friend. Diane is a wonderful person as is her husband. The four of us talked for almost an hour and we prayed with both of them for healing of arthritis and degenerative joint disease. I asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence and when He came near, Diane almost ended up on the ground. We didn't have anyone to catch.

We visited another vendor named Kasi, who had some stones that my wife liked. As she talked with my wife, Kasi noticed my wife's pendant (left) and asked who made it. She said it was one of her own designs. She asked if my wife did special orders (she does) and wanted to know if she could make a pendant with her mother's favorite bible verse on it as a birthday gift.

After some discussion about pricing and the fact that they didn't take credit cards and were low on cash, they agreed to a trade. Half a dozen stones for a custom silver pendant necklace. We talked for a long time about God with Kasi and her husband whom I liked a lot. He has a killer sense of humor.

We drove to another part of town and visited more vendors. I was smiling ear to ear because of how God had orchestrated the first part of our day. My wife bought a few more stones. I felt like a high school geology student on a field trip. So much to learn.

It was a wonderful trip. On the way home we stopped to visit with my aunt and uncle, who live in Tucson. We had dinner at Cracker Barrel. My uncle re-told the story of his trip to South Africa before the end of apartheid. He worked for a company that made medical devices. He was sent to South Africa as a salesman to show doctors the advantages of a new device. When the doctors showed interest in learning more about the device, he visited them in the hospital and showed them how to use it.

He visited the ghettos of Soweto; a city of 3 million people, nearly all of whom were black. The hospital he toured was a one story building with hundreds of patient rooms. The sanitary conditions were miserable and all the patients were black. The only whites allowed in the hospital were doctors. Each patient room had one bed. Most of the rooms had four patients; two lying in opposite directions on the mattress, with two more patients lying under the bed on the floor.

He told me about seeing a line of about 50 women outside the hospital, waiting their turn to go inside. All the women were 9 months pregnant and about to deliver their babies. They waited in line until just before the birth, then a man would take them quickly inside for the delivery.

He also told me about visiting the white -only hospital, the floors of which were so clean you could eat off them. All the staff at this hospital were white except housekeeping. The rooms were very nice. He told me about hearing the alarm that went off every night at 6:00 to announced that blacks had exactly one hour to return to the ghetto for the evening.

I love hearing about how things were years ago. It makes me appreciate a little more the freedoms we have today.

On February 18th, Diane Coon posted this testimony on my Facebook wall:
"Hey you guys, you prayed for me at "the Rock Show", God showed you my bones; I'm better and better; dancing around my living room; exercising all those joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons.

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