Throwing rocks

I recently moved a couple tons of river rock from one area of our yard to another. One rock at a time, each five, ten, twenty or more pounds.

I had to dig up each rock from underneath years and years of leaves and tree debris that had settled over the area. I’d dig one up and throw it with two hands to the area where I wanted it. I felt like a shot putter with extremely bad form.

The days-long process made me think of the Israelites and how they piled rocks as a memorial to God’s faithful protection of them. They wanted later passersby to see the rocks piled up and say, “What do these mean?”

The bottom-line answer was always that they meant God was faithful to protect them.

My husband Craig recently asked me if I could remember the times God protected me from danger.

Absolutely I could. I didn’t need rock piles for me to remember.

The time I hit black ice with all the kids in the car and somehow stayed on the road and avoided the car coming from the other direction.

The time I hit a sheet of hail on I-80 driving down to my parents’ house and avoided hitting the concrete pillar for an overpass.

The time I hit the break just a half-second from entering an intersection, only to have a car race through from my right to my left after running a stop sign. My kids and I might not otherwise be here to speak of that scary moment.

I’m sure there are others, many of which I might not have even known about at the time.

The events of the last week and the last several months will forever be markers for the rest of my life. And I can choose to make meaning and purpose from them . . . or pretend they didn’t exist. I began thinking that getting rid of cowardice and prejudice might be like throwing rocks . . . digging up that cowardice or prejudice and then heaving it with all my might.

And I will choose to see the events of the last week as markers for when I better understood others and their needs . . . so that I remember that God’s heart was broken and that I can choose to love others better.

Janet McHenry is a national speaker and the author of 24 books-six on prayer including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to be considered as the speaker for your next event–in person or otherwise!

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