“And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
My husband gave me opal earrings for Christmas. They’re beautiful, but he chose them for a more significant reason.
If you hold an opal to the light, flaming colors dance just beneath the pale surface. That’s why they’re sometimes called stones of fire.
“What a strange bringing together of contradictions! ‘Stones of fire.’ A stone is the embodiment of principle—hard and cold. Fire is the essence of passion—warm and energizing. Put the two together, and we have . . . principle shot through with passion, passion held by principle.” ~ Dr. Campbell Morgan
Isn’t that a perfect picture of intimacy in marriage? Passion, yes. But passion that is anchored in covenant.
Because let’s be honest. Passion alone is fickle. It’s a fire that has to be stoked, and more often than not, life is going to dump buckets of water on it.
I know this from experience. Our marriage has weathered some desperately hard seasons — times when my heart toward my husband grew stone cold, and I feared it would always be that way. The future looked like a long, lonely co-existence. And yet? God, in covenant, kept us.
And here’s the thing about God. He can soften the stoniest heart. I know this from experience, too.
After I opened the earrings — a fun adventure that featured a small box in a bigger box in an even bigger box — he handed me an envelope. And inside? I found this. Our story. Thirty-six years condensed into fourteen intense, redemptive lines.
She bowed at feet she kissed with tears and prayers,
while men of doubt gave death a cloak of sheen.
The Man of God, a question, posed, removed the airs;
the lady rose in faith, with peace, all clean.
He who is forgiven little, loves sparse.
A kiss of love, from root to bloom, lets flow
The sap, a song of joy that lifts the farce:
All life is dark and dead, without bordeaux.
A farmer bowed in loam with hope to see
a kiss—a stone of fire—drawn up from earth as rays
of joy, as fruit from light, instead of weeds.
The grape that bleeds will drip a kiss of praise:
Your scar is round, a bowl, imbued with wine—
A peck caressed, your kiss received, my vine.
Christmas Day 2015
Inspired by Jeanne
With love, George
Yes, I love the earrings. But the sonnet? It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received—a glimpse into the heart that holds my heart, weak though we both are, and breakable. It’s a picture of passion tested and refined. Covenant renewed. Intimacy aged by grace into the best wine.
Principle builds the altar, stone by stone, the wood upon it a thousand daily choices to die to self. Passion responds to the invitation, white hot and holy, like fire from heaven.
Embers are rekindled, fueled by promise, sheltered by the Most High.
And here we remain.
Stones of fire, smoldering side by side.
Until death do us part.
Latest posts by JeanneDamoff (see all)
- What Prayer and Swimsuits Have in Common - April 20, 2017
- Christmas Presence - December 20, 2016
- Marriage, Weathering the Storm and Stones of Fire - February 9, 2016
Subscribe for updates!
Join our mailing list and be the first to receive the latest news.
Look for blog posts, podcasts and and an occasional newsletter, and all of it is fashioned for wise women.
love these words -Because let’s be honest. Passion alone is fickle. thank you for sharing your story.
“Stones of fire smoldering side by side.”
Yours is a marriage of two poets, and this is a beautiful tribute to that reality!
Thanks so much, Teresa and Michele!
Beautiful, Jeanne! So very true >> “he who is forgiven little, loves sparse.” May we always remember how greatly forgiven we are so that we love without reserve. Blessings!
Love this story. It is beautiful, but most of all I loved the raw truth here and how our Good God touches us with hands innour most intimate place…Our loved ones. Blessings. Chris
Oh, Jeanne, that sonnet IS lovely. I bet you were a puddle when you read it.
Your words resonate, my friend… I know without a doubt if it weren’t for the glue of Jesus, my own 40+ year marriage would have ended long ago. He is the One that keeps the love going….well said.
So late coming to thank you, dear Joanne, Chris, and Jody, for your comments! I love any opportunity to remind myself of God’s kind gifts to me — so easily am I distracted by inconsequential things that feel much bigger than they are. Thank you for entering this story and loving it with me. xo