I love rocks. I studied their chemical makeup at university, then borrowed their properties to develop new materials in my later research. Our amazing planet is covered in them, often beautiful, sometimes dangerous and the vast majority never touched by a human hand.
They’re a frequent feature throughout the Bible: God is likened to a Rock – firm, solid, immovable. Goliath was defeated with a little one, and death was defeated when a huge one was moved from the mouth of the tomb that first Easter. Christians are described as “living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple” (1 Peter 2 v5).
We can also use rocks in our own reflections – wondering at their beauty, feeling the weight and texture and thinking about a stone’s journey before we came to pick it up – and thinking about our own journey… We can lay them out to form words and shapes (perhaps to express an encircling prayer, as I discussed last week), or stack them up as we pray for unity. My favourite rock activity is to unburden myself in prayer, while holding a rock, and hurling it hard into the sea, releasing my guilt, worry, whatever is weighing me down, as it disappears.
This week I tried something new – instead of sending a “thinking of you” card to a burnt-out and frazzled friend, I sent a rock. Praying for her as I painted, it became a physical representation of my prayer, and rather un-subtle a reminder for her to slow down.
So this week why not grab a rock, and use it any way you like to help you connect with God?