Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Precious Stones

For the mountains shall be moved, and the hills shall tremble; but my mercy shall not depart from thee, and the covenant of my peace shall not be moved: said the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
    11O poor little one, tossed with tempest, without all comfort, behold I will lay thy stones in order, and will lay thy foundations with sapphires,
    12And I will make thy bulwarks of jasper: and thy gates of graven stones, and all thy borders of desirable stones. -- Isaiah 54:10-12  (Douay-Rheims 1899)

I remember sitting for long hours in the sun on the beach at Kootenay Lake, British Columbia finding a variety of different stones that I could use to pave a scene in the beach sand.  Arranging the different colored stones I could spell words, or create roads for a city, or a mountain retreat scene.  All thought of a life or world outside of that small construction project vanished, and in that space was peace, solitude, and reflection.

Here in Isaiah the Lord is promising that when your world turns upside down God is going arrange your stones in order.  God will use beautiful stones - stones worth something to put into place the main supports your life needs.  Thinking about my care-free days on the lakefront it is comforting to think that I'm the one in the scene that God is creating out of His own solitude, retreat, and reflection.  He sits quietly, speculatively ordering the rocks to which I need to cling - verses, hymns, Presence, people, and of course, Christ himself.

Dearest God, you brush the sand of my life smooth, you break down the larger boulders, you toss out the sticks and junk, and you organize the scene that is my life even when I'm not aware.  Thank you for being here.  Amen.

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