Like Living Stones

It’s hard being a rock.  No pun intended.  Or an unearthed stone on its own, or a bit of rubble that has been unkindly liberated from its greatness, crumbling from a museum or a church or a home.  I have felt in pieces like dynamited rock for much of the past few years.  

An active member for a decade, I moved away from Marble in the early 2000’s.  I’d just married and my husband and I moved, joined another church, and began building together what I thought would be a lasting life.  A church with a garden, a leaky roof and a “back 40” that I’d weeded and cleared because it had the potential to become something.  But it never did, and neither would my marriage.  As that church’s funding was slashed, financial instability ensued, and some of that church’s property was lost.  And my husband, who didn’t want to be married anymore, left.

Much of that church was demolished, as was my marriage.  While they struggled to redefine themselves, establish a new home and financial stability, I struggled to redefine myself, establish a new home and financial stability, and to reconfigure the dynamited pieces.  

Five years ago I returned to Marble.  On my first Sunday back, I was welcomed by a greeter who remembered me.  Remembered my name.  From nearly 20 years earlier.  It felt like coming home.  I became involved again, found purpose, trust, and healing here, where I’m being called to become even more than I knew I could be.

With the recent cutback in Collegiate support, Marble’s facing a financial reality not dissimilar to that tiny church uptown or even my own.  I figure either I’m back luck, or it’s time I recognized the lessons that continue to be put before me.  Though I still struggle, I move forward now with Marble’s example before me, as we reconfigure our stones to build something new, moving into our future with boldness, faith, and with each other.

Unearthed stones, debris rubble, whatever is left after the demolition of a sacred space (whether that be a church or a soul) — I think these cannot be made useful or beautiful by their own hand alone.  Someone must come along, recognize their potential, lift them up, and begin the task of placing them, piece by piece in relation to another.  This takes patience, hope, vision, and faith.  Marble has held me in these spiritual gifts when I wasn’t able to seek them on my own.  Marble is the expression of God at work in my life; she shows me the love that lifts stones and the forgiveness that keeps them held high.  I have such deep gratitude for Marble; the healing she brings inspires me to give as I can in service to the healing of others.

Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 2:5

Nine rocks balanced one atop another, of different shapes and sizes, forming a tall cairn at the edge of a lake in Massachusetts.  Fragile yet solid, precarious yet enduring, it rises in perfect balance and in community. 

Shared by Karla Hendrick

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