My sister Mary and I love rocks. Beach stones, to be specific, from the shores of Lake Michigan, our childhood hang-out. There is no end to the variety of stones that appear on the sand day after day. Each is striking in its beauty, and no two are alike. In our opinion, a pendant made of a beach stone ranks right up there with a “real” jewel.
Mary and I are in our sixties, but we still get that same childhood thrill when we find pretty stones. Handling them is a stress-reducer for sure, and we look for excuses to do so. We’ve glued them on picture frames, mirror frames, candle bases, centerpiece runners, bird houses, flower pots and clocks. We’ve backed them with magnets for the fridge and have filled crystal bowls with them.
Last week Mary found a new way to use our stones. The morning after we learned of Nate’s pancreatic cancer, I was standing at the kitchen sink, a million miles away in my mind, when I spotted a pink beach stone on the counter. It was the size of a fifty-cent piece and had writing on it: Isaiah 26:3-4.
I knew immediately it must have been Mary’s doing. Here’s what the reference said:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
With my mind in a whirl that day, those verses slowed me down and gave me something constructive to do: attach my thoughts to Lord Jehovah.
Two days later, a yellow “butterscotch” stone appeared, this one on the bathroom sink. Psalm 16:7-8:
“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
A few days after that, I found a third stone next to our computer. Psalm 9:9-10:
“The Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
This afternoon I found a fourth gift from the beach, a stunning piece of beach glass, rare because of its large size and aqua color. Beach glass is difficult to find anymore, since so many bottles are now made of plastic. But on this beautiful piece was written another Bible reference, Psalm 40:1-3:
“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”
With her Scripture rocks, Mary has found a way to link earth and heaven, thus helping us sort out the dilemma of having one foot in each place. The stones and beach glass help to pry our attention away from pancreatic cancer and attach it to the one who has the keys to life… and death… the foundational Rock, Jesus Christ.