Yesterday morning we were still at my dad’s house having travelled there to spend some time with him and also the Scotsman’s parents. I found myself telling dad something I’ve never told him before and it meant as we drove home I felt a mixture of relief and a bit of a heavy heart (I wrote about it yesterday here.)
We attended the evening service back at home, which was done in the Taize style. As part of the service each person attending was handed a stone as they arrived. Early on during the service we were invited to place our stone around a painting of the cross, to represent putting everything of the day at the feet of Jesus. It was just a small part of the service but because of what happened earlier I know I was laying a lot down at that point, so this is the bit that spoke the most significantly.
God has been bringing stones to my attention a lot lately.
A couple of years ago following a move we embarked on a period of personal, professional and geographical transition. I also entered a period of time where I felt an absence of God, doubting his plans and purposes and doubting Him too. There were times during this period when God said very little indeed and to be honest it felt more like moving from the frying pan and into the fire. But slowly it became apparent that this was a time to re-connect with God on a much deeper level.
Recently the writer Adam S McHugh quoted this on twitter:
Looking back over everything that has happened in the last two years I think I have been waiting for something ‘concrete’ to tell me that this wilderness time has passed. I have even taken a photo of a pile of stones in readiness. But while I have been waiting and looking, it has gently snuck past.
The laying down of the stones last night in church also reminded me very strongly of the closing scenes in the film Schindler’s List.
A procession of the now-elderly Jews who worked in Schindler’s factory walk to and set stones on his grave – a traditional Jewish custom denoting gratitude to the deceased. The actors portraying the major characters walk alongside them. Oskar Schindler was a flawed man but he loved the Jewish people enough to put his own life at risk and save most of them from certain death (this particular scene plays from approx 2:28 into the clip)
Wherever we are on our journey with God He loves us too much to leave us where we are.
And He uses whatever means He needs to, to remind us of that.
This post is linked up at Tania Vaughan's place for #mondayministry - check it out and join in