Building with Rocks

Approximately 200 years ago, rock masons tamed Dunoon, Scotland, corralling houses, streets, and green spaces behind unending  lines of rock fences of various heights and shapes, from ornate curved with little houses attached to the back for coal storage to basic. The years have whisked by with changes to property ownership and streets. The rock fences have remained unchanged.

Sadly, no written record exists to tell the history of the rock fences or to name the rock masons who built such marvelous structures. I’ve searched. It would seem that the rock fences and their builders were deemed too common place and unappreciated to warrant mention. And, yet, year after year—the rock fences remain silently and steadfastly doing their job.

Some of us can relate to the rock fences. Years pass as we faithfully perform the charges that God has given us—often without recognition or reward. Should we ever feel unappreciated and undervalued, we should think of rock fences and the burdens they so faithfully carry with no accolade. Year after year they make the world around them a better place. They don’t get praise for their existence, but they would be missed if they were gone.

Even better, remember Jesus: “Who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of man. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:6

“Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death…that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9 Stephanie Parker McKean: books, biography, latest update

Loving Rocks

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I love rocks.

I’ve loved rocks since I was a toddler. This I know because one of my earliest memories is my mother’s command to put the rocks down and quit carrying them around before I drop them on my toes. Which I did. But silently, no matter how much it hurt, because Mom also said, “Don’t come crying to me when you drop that rock on your toes.”

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Scotland is intriguing for rock lovers, with amazing rock walls which date back to the 17th century. They were built by hand without masonry cement, without modern tools, and on every landscape gradient. They were built with rocks gathered from the fields, not quarried or cut. Hundreds of years later, they stand.

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I’d like my life to be like a Scottish rock wall and leave something enduring behind. But nothing I accomplish will cleave to history with the tenacity and durability of Scottish dry stone walls.

When my temporary life on earth ends, I will join the Rock of Ages in Heaven. “The LORD is my Rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength in whom I will trust…I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised.” 2 Samuel 22:47.

Jesus, the Rock of eternity, the whisper of the next breath.

Rock of Jesus

Rock Stealing

I love Super Bowls. I don’t watch them. I know absolutely nothing about football. But I love rocks and Super Bowl Day is a great day for rock stealing.

Well, okay, for the sake of political correctness – perhaps not “stealing.” Re-locating.

One of my greatest joys living in the Texas Hill Country was rock acquisition trips. A couple of kind ranchers gave me keys to their gates and permission to drive into their pastures to get rocks. Super Bowl days were the best because I could load the pickup truck so full that the tires squashed nearly flat and the bumper was only inches from the pavement and I could drive home at twenty miles an hour (because the front of the truck was floating) without causing a traffic jam. Texans love their football, and my poor over-loaded truck would be virtually the only one on the road.

One of my earliest childhood memories is of getting into trouble for toting rocks. My mother would say, “Quit picking up those rocks. When you drop one on your toes, don’t come crying to me.” Without fail, I disobeyed my mother and kept carting rocks around. Without fail, I dropped one on my toes. But I never went running to my mother with my tale of woe. I sat in the backyard alone cradling my foot and crying until it quit hurting.

Why do I love rocks so much? I don’t know. I can lean against a rock building with my face and palms against the rocks and listen to them sing. When I do rockwork, I never break a rock. I spread the rocks out where I can see them easily, then I pick each one for the size and shape of the available space. A jigsaw puzzle built with rocks.

But there is One Rock above every other rock. Psalm 28:1 declares, “To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock.” Psalm 27, my favorite since childhood, says, “He shall set me high upon a rock.” I always felt safe when I read that Psalm even though I was raised as an atheist and had no idea what the words meant. Psalm 91:1 enjoins, “Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.”

I know now that Jesus is The Rock upon which our lives should be built so they will last through the times of trial and trouble. Perhaps the reason I hear the voice of the rocks is found in Isaiah 51:1, “You who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn.”

I’ll probably never know who won this year’s Super Bowl, but I will spend the day dreaming about stealing – I mean re-locating – rocks.

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