Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Grey Stone of Repentance and Forgiveness

The pastor passed out a grey stone to each of us this morning.

"A pet rock" I joked, and we laughed. Some sermon about Jesus being the rock of our lives, I presumed.

During the service, Andrea and I held our stones in our hands.....touching, inspecting, holding close.

My stone was smoothly oval and speckled evenly on both sides with dark gray patterns of dots. Andrea's stone was even smoother, but it had flaws, including one deep scar. We eyed each other's stones.

I liked her stone better than mine.....I admired its beauty in spite of, or because of, its white scars. Andrea being a semi-obsessive perfectionist with engineering/mathematician leanings, I could tell she liked my perfect stone better than her flawed one.

So I suggested we trade, and she quickly agreed. I carefully traced my fingertip along the stone's deep gash, as I admired its sensuous curves. Andrea smiled contentedly, and with relief, as she held the perfect stone.

And then the sermon (on having a healthy relationship with the Holy Trinity) ended.

And the pastor asked each of us to come forth, and....................drop our stone into a bowl of baptismal water, dropping our fears, our worries, our sins into the water along with our stone.

Realizing that we were attracted to our stones because of our mutual weaknesses, Andrea and I glanced at each other in a holy moment of panic.....what, God??? Uhhh...what?

But I stood up, as did she, and we ventured forth to the altar, with Ron (who looked at us quizzically) and everyone else.

She dropped her stone into the water, then received a blessing from the pastor.

I followed her, dropping my stone....along with deep decades-long pain....into the sacred water, and received a blessing from the pastor.

I asked our 14-year-old daughter later.....did you drop your perfectionism into the water with your stone?

She smiled sheepishly, "Mom, it's a long journey................ But I heard God, and yes, I tried."

1 comment:

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