People don’t usually talk about scat, i.e. animal dropping/dung, in polite company.  If you are a hunter or wildlife photographer, spotting scat can be integral to your success. “Scatologists” analyze Elk, Mule Deer, Moose, Pronghorn and other wildlife scat for taxonomic purposes, i.e. to determine animal behavior, diet and habitat.

Fossilized dinosaur scat has a specialized term: Coprolite. This name is derived from two Greek words; kopros meaning dung, and lithos meaning stone.  Coprolites or fossilized feces have been found ranging in age from the Silurian Period, 435 million years ago to the more recent Pleistocene era.

Over the ages, the dinosaur organic wastes were replaced by minerals filling the fissures creating rock-hard fossils.  Coprolites can be made into jewelry with stunningly beautiful shades of reds, creams, browns, greens, greys, rusts and other colors.  Swirled, circular, striated, mottled and leaf-like patterns emerge under the hands of a skilled lapidarist.  Each piece is distinctive, rare, and one of a kind.

I recently viewed Jim and Leane Gray’s Coprolite jewelry collection in their Big Piney, Wyoming rock shop. Jim graciously allowed me to photograph him wearing one of his original, patented bolo tie designs!  As the photo shows, the uniquely shaped Coprolite ornament has a rich, vibrant interplay of burgundy, green, grey, cream and hints of mustard yellow. Essentially, Jim used a “waste” product to craft a work of art.

And I thought, isn’t that what God does in our lives?

Let’s get real. Nobody escapes having some sort of trash or garbage in their life.  Nobody.  Maybe the “waste” is addiction, abandonment, abuse, an unfaithful spouse, bankruptcy, a health crisis or a rebellious child.  If you live long enough, you WILL experience regret, disappointment, guilt, anger, and other painful emotions.

The enemy uses rubbish to accuse us. To persecute us with our past. To taunt that we have no value, are unlovable, and of no use. God often gives us conviction about an action. Only satan wants us to become a convict and imprisoned by it.

Thankfully, God’s faithfulness and great love trounces the enemy.  God transforms what we regret, our self-condemnation, anguish and bitterness to create something of beauty. We may not see how our “failures” can become successes but God does! Over and over, God promises His refining love.  In Second Corinthians, God vows that when we are in Christ, we become a new creation and the old things are GONE.  In the last book of the Bible, God says, “Behold, I make all things new!”

God is the Master Lapidarist who transforms a heart of stone into a clean heart.  He uses our tumbles and abrasive experiences as heavenly grindstones. He promises all things – including our disappointments, regrets, angry moments, whatever we wish had not happened to us - work together for good, for those who love Him.  Life’s events will cut, sheer, carve and facet us. God’s love polishes and presents us as distinctive, rare, and one of a kind.

Final thought:

As a believer in Christ Jesus, we are not condemned by God.  God directs us to forget the former things, not consider the detritus of old and let the past go. Through Jesus, God sees us as pure, holy and blameless.  We can live by feelings or faith, guilt or gratitude and despair or hope and acceptance. 

What do you believe about yourself: “waste” product or well-loved creation?


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