Giving away a piece of your life.

A few years ago, I took some small stones to a conference. They were from a little gravel path Nancy and I made in our backyard. I took them to the conference because I was going to see people face-to-face who I had only talked with online. They were tangible evidence that we had met, that I came from a real place and knew they did as well.

That’s why I have small stones from Brazil, a river in Thailand, the floor of a church in a dump in Ethiopia, the floor of a home in Haiti, a hill in Oklahoma, under a bridge in Sierra Leone, a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, an island in the Hudson River, and a mountain in Colorado. I’ve received these from friends and family who have worked in these places, who live in these places, who have touched lives and been changed in these places.

I often think that the closest I will come to working cross-culturally in mission that helps people’s souls and bodies are these stones. And I am okay with that. I am thrilled that my friends have connected me to those places, and the people that live and worship and grow in those places.

Which brings me to the small pile of fist-sized stones some of you have been accumulating for the past month. I would like you to give some away this week. It may be one you laid down instead of throwing. It may be one that reminded you of gratitude. Walk through your week and give away stones to people who need tangible reminders that they, and you, exist.


A stone from Omaha beach.

I know we don’t often hand out stones. But in the awkward silence, you could simply say, “I want you to remember this moment.” and then tell them about Jacob and Samuel and Joshua.