Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Bunch of Rocks

Just after we pass through the crosswalk, the sidewalk takes a hard right turn followed immediately by a hard left turn.  Then the path heads up the hill towards the school.  While the weather stays warm, we walk this path everyday.  Sometimes twice a day we walk up and down this stretch of sidewalk.

Today as we trudge along, Norah is drawn to the sea of gravel on the left-hand side.  Her class is currently studying geology and she is constantly on the look-out for interesting rocks to take to school.  To me, this desert-friendly rock-filled landscaping is blah.  Lots of rounded grayish rocks dumped on the hill to keep the weeds out.  To Norah this is a geological find!

"This one is shaped like a hot dog and it's gritty.  Could be sandstone."

"This rock has pink spots.  Maybe it's rose quartz."

"Look at the sparkles in this rock.  Do you think it's mica?"

She walks alongside the double stroller showing me each rock.  Upon closer inspection, I see that indeed the rocks are different.  They are distinct - each unique in their colors, their compositions and their shapes.

Norah stoops down and retrieves yet another rock.

"Look, Mom, this is called a wishing rock.  It's all dark except for this pinkish white line of rock.  I wonder how it got that line.  I'm going to show this one to the class."

As we approach the school, Norah adds her new rocks to her collection in her backpack.  I tease her about how much lighter her backpack will be once they move on from studying geology.  I hear her growing collection rattle around as she hefts her bag onto her shoulders.

"Bye, Mom!"

On my return trip back down the hill, I pass by the rock pile again, but this time I am trying to see this accumulation of stones and gravel differently.  Trying to see it through Norah's eyes.

There is a yellow rock.  But not just yellow ... yellow striped.  It has ochre layers running horizontally.

This rock is most definitely purple and there is a dimple on one side.  Almost like a kidney bean.

A few feet away I see a black rock with small pockets of white.  Imagine a die in reverse.

That one is blue, while its neighbor has more green in its pigment.  Not "green grass" green, but certainly not gray.

Some are rounded, others have sharp edges, while still others would make perfect skipping stones.

Scattered throughout this expanse of stones, there are larger rocks.  You might even call them boulders. These dozen goliaths stand out among the little rocks and catch my attention as well.

As I slow my steps and take the time to really see the rocks, I discover their individuality. And I am struck with their similarities to us as a collection of people.

I live in a sea of humanity, much like that little yellow-striped rock sits in a sea of stones.  From a distance both physically and emotionally, I look just like anyone else.

I'm female.
I have brownish hair.
I wear glasses.
I'm a mom.
I am roundish.
I like to sparkle.
I'm small.

What sets me apart from the rest of the crowd?  What makes me special?  Remarkable?  Noticeable?

Could I ever be a boulder?  Standing out from this assembly of souls?

I don't imagine that I will ever be a boulder like Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King, Jr., or Billy Graham, but does that lessen my significance?

With a grateful heart I rejoice that God sees me when He looks at His creation.

Permit me a little liberty with this illustration ...

"Look down at the sea of stones at your feet:
Who created all these?
He who carved out the sandy multitude one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of His great power and mighty strength,
no one of them is missing" (Isaiah 40:26)

Somehow, He is able to pick each one of us out of this knot of humanity and see us clearly and closely.  While we might feel lost in His collection, we aren't.  We are each unique, distinct and precious.

We are each His favorite.

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