White Stones Inside


I first noticed them in the surf while searching for sand dollars and sea agate—the most unusual, black and white stones. Then I noticed they were profusely scattered along the shore as well. Some were all black, some totally white, some a mishmash combination. Some had holes; some had deep grooves and cracks. Others were smooth and “perfect.”

I had never seen this type of rock before, but anyone who knows me knows that I am smitten by rocks—much to my husband’s dismay. Every time we move he has this big fit over hauling around  my rock collection. And uh, well, we’ve moved eight times in twelve years, so I guess he has a point.

When he asked to see what my latest OCD fixation was bulging out the bottom of my plastic bag, he took one look and rolled his eyes. “Honey, you just got rid of 500 pounds of rocks in our last move. This is not progress!”

“But wait a sec. There’s something really special about these rocks.”

He waited, arms crossed, giving me that cute boyish grin and knowing look as he listened to me explain my latest God-moment…that included collecting rocks for the past half hour.

The Oregon beach where we found the stones.

I showed him the larger, black and white, unshapely rocks with their holes, cracks, and flaws. And then showed him how, the smallest rocks that had been worn by the refining effects of the surf, were the only rocks that were perfectly shaped and white. Then I told him about the verse that came to my mind when I first noticed the rocks.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the called out ones.
To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna,
And I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone
Which no one knows…but he who receives it.” ~Revelation 2:17

That morning I meditated on the stunning truth that, no matter how broken, marred, or misshapen our lives, this truth is for everyone. Every person is being called out in his or her own timing to be shaped, refined, and polished from the old into the new. Before the end of the Story, every person will experience an unveiled encounter with hidden manna (Jesus), every person will learn to overcome, and every person will be given a white stone with a new name. What a marvelous, mysterious, happy thought.

Another view of the beach.

This is what I shared with my husband on the beach…this is what had been materializing in my heart that morning as I first noticed and then began collecting  heaps of white and black stones.

That’s all it took. My husband eagerly grabbed another plastic bag out of my knapsack and began helping me collect another 500 pounds of rocks to bring home.

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  • That Oregon beach is positively stunning & dream-like. I love the truth that you pulled from your rock experience.

    Interesting, you wrote, "before the end of the Story…" I've been wondering about beginnings and endings lately. Do you think there will be an end to the Story? Or will there just be more chapters?

    • jferwerd

      You might be right…after the 8th day, there is a 9th day, and so on. Maybe the plan of the ages just continues on. Have a wonderful day!

  • So add this to your thoughts, how many thousands of years did it take him to cleanse those stones white? We as humans fail to see it is a on going process, one that will go on for many, many years.

    • jferwerd

      Brian, you are spot on! I love what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:5–6: “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for ALL, the testimony to be given in it's own due season.

      1 Corinthians 15:22-23 says something similar: As in Adam, all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive, but each in his own order (or class)."

  • Which no one knows…but he who receives it.

    powerful words… some people don't understand yet, because they haven't been made aware.

  • Sarah

    I really need to get to that beach…

    • jferwerd

      Bring your coat! We were there in August and we were freezing! It is so beautiful though…there is nothing like taking highway 1 all the way down the coast. It's so unspoiled–just miles and miles of gorgeous views.

  • chrisnamastephys11

    Quite an amazing God moment, indeed, Julie! The Scripture you provided from Revelation 2:17 in combination with your wonderful story, reminded me of the following two Scriptures:

    1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. (NRSV)

    Ephesians 3:9 and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; (NRSV)

    Thanks for sharing this, Julie!

  • I was just thinking about stones this morning. But my study took me to Joshua 4, where the Israelites took 12 stones from the Jordan as they crossed over to their promised land: “… these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever” (Josh. 4:7). So, I’m collecting a few stones myself! Keep writing, Julie!!!

  • erin

    I too was just reading in joshua about the stones!!! We r trying to decide how to erect monuments in our home to “remember” what the Lord has done! Thank u Jules for sharing!!! Much love and blessings~E

  • That shaping and refining can be difficult for the moment, but what a wonderful ending to look forward to. In the meantime, back to rock polishing in our lives!!


  • Jennifer

    I never new you moved so much.. You sound like me. I have moved but I have a sports card collection. :) Love you no matter how many times you move or how many rocks you lose.. :) You will always be my Julie!

    • jferwerd

      That is good news because I can't seem to help myself. As to our relationship…just consider it an official adoption Jen. Love you!