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.
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.
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.