Coal under pressure

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.  As You Like It Act 2, by Shakespeare

2Corinthians4_8

Exhaling between her teeth, Joanna ticked off the list she was studying. It was a real eye opener when she got to the part that dealt with stress.

They were given a weighted list of all the things that caused stress; separation or divorce, moving house, death, relationship problems. It was part of a compulsory paper she had to study at college called ‘Interpersonal Skills’.

The stress wasn’t over. She had gone through hell this past year, and there seemed to be no end to the grief. She was still dealing with relationship problems from Silver-tongue with his nastiness, her ex-husband with his blame game, and her mother with her regular bi-polar craziness. Divorce and another house move loomed big on the horizon.

Her only escape was study, and the joy she got from her children. The princess was studying part time for a career she planned once the children were at school.  The qualification she aimed for formed the first year of a degree in Computer Science. The thought of a career in her chosen field brought hope for the future.

Silver-tongue enrolled in the same courses.  He kept a jealous eye on her, making caustic remarks if she chatted to any of the men at break time while they watched the second year students play hacky-sack.  One of the second year students was a lean man in his thirties with a handsome, boyish face and greying hair.  He was in the background.  Silver-tongue took all of her attention.

The next day she told her friend princess Eve, an attractive and graceful blonde about the stress list. They were feeding the deer at the Deer Park, over the road from where Eve lived. Princess Eve found it interesting as she was going through her own trials. She listened as she stuck some bread through the fence, then turning to Joanna she said “You know, coal under pressure forms a diamond.”

Joanna grinned wryly. “It had better be a pretty big diamond!”

The King heard her.  He would see what He could do.  Silver, gold and jewels were good but in His Kingdom, wisdom was foremost.

Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.

She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.  Proverbs 3:13-17