Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two Stones, a parable of burdens

“Carry those stones,” I hear the Spirit say.

In my path are two large stones. Each far too large to put in any pocket and much too heavy to put inside my bag. I take one in each hand and start the mile home, with a fistful of weight.

The stones are comfortable at first, not requiring much effort to carry. Why do we carry unnecessary things in life? Because they were in our path, and it somehow feels right that we should pick them up and take them with us. 

Block after block I meditate on the stones in my hand, fumbling with what feels to be an increasing weight of regret. “Why do I carry this?” I say sensibly. But the Spirit does not answer my gripe, because it is a bitter question without answer. 

Onward I walk, trying to make sense of this God-given task. Is it to mock me? I compare myself to the woman nearly-stoned for her sins (John 8:5), but no condemnation did I find. 

My arms tremble and my shoulders ache, but I do not let go of the stones. Instead of focusing on the heaviness of the stones I turn my breath to worship, listing without cease the praiseworthy things in the past, present, and future comings.

Thank you for Your strength in place of my weakness.
Thank you for Your love in place of my heartbreak.
Thank you for Your clarity in place of my confusion.
Thank you for Your beauty in place of my ugliness.
Thank you for Your hope in place of my doubt.
Thank you for Your victory in place of my failure.
Thank you for Your joy in place of my sorrow.
Thank you for Your light in place of my darkness.
Thank you for Christ in place of myself.

The worship does not take away the weight of the stones, but it takes away the yoke of the journey. Upon completion I find myself as far east as Manhattan will go, to the overpass and a river. 

“Why do I carry this?” I ask again.

“So that you can know the freedom that comes from letting go.” the Spirit says.

With a mighty shove I throw the first stone from my lofty place and then the second. I sigh and watch the two stones fall into the waters never to be carried again. The ripples of release make a perfect 8 in the black night. 

8 the number of New Beginnings. 

There is a lightness now. With a strength unlike before, I am no longer the weight of what I carried. 

In times when life is a heavy burden to bare,
May we remember always that it is a gift from You
Lord, You will equip us to walk through hard things.
We bind every unnecessary load and throw it into your hands
We pray for those that hurt us, and those we have hurt.
We evoke new beginnings in place of old shame.
In Jesus name,


 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” Luke 21:6

"...a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing," Ecclesiastes 3:5

"Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones..." Isaiah 62:10