Personal stones of remembrance

Yesterday we talked about a pile of stones near the Jordan river. They were a conversation-starter for kids. But there was another pile as well. Joshua gathered some stones from the riverbank and made a pile in the middle of the river. Where no one would see them again.

There is value in remembrance actions that no one will ever see. There is value in small tangible actions that are gone from sight quickly, but before they disappear etch reminders on your heart.

It’s the funeral message for your dad that was buried with him. It’s the balloon you released with your fears. It’s the words from the Bible you wrote on the bare concrete of the church building, now covered with carpet. It’s the sleeping bag of your dad’s that you gave to the homeless guy. It’s the small stones a group of riders carry to the top of a mountain pass, and then leave in a small heap, soon scattered. You can fill in your own examples of these personal actions.

This river crossing was Joshua’s first leadership test as the successor of Moses. God had given him instructions. God had given him affirmation. And Joshua had directed the people according to the instruction, and with confidence from the affirmation. Joshua put the pile of stones at the exact spot where the priests had stood in the middle of the Jordan River while the huge crowd of people marched and trudged and ran and hurried past.

And after the priest came out of the river bed and the waters flowed back, there was still, for Joshua, a reminder.

(The story doesn’t stop there. The next thing God directs is that all the men be circumcised. Again, a private reminder of a commitment to God.)

So as you have a few minutes this weekend, as you stop and think about the week, maybe there is a place where you and God cooperated. Maybe you could make your own private reminder.

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Thanks to Rich Dixon for the Front Range Freedom Ride video.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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