I was working myself into a sweaty mess over all these rocks until this week, when I read an essay by Deidra, my new blogger friend over at Jumping Tandem. She wrote about 1 Samuel 7, in which Samuel gives thanks to God by marking a stone as a memorial to God:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, [which means stone of help] saying, 'Thus far has the LORD helped us.' So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again.This is what Deidra says about her own Ebenezer:
Recently, I've received three blessings - right in a row - that have left me astounded by amazing grace. And in the middle of all the rejoicing, the thought occurred to me that I would forget. That time and circumstance might diminish these miracles in my mind. And so I cried out and said, "I need an Ebenezer! I don't want to forget!" And my eyes fell upon a bowl of rocks, sitting on my front porch, set there weeks ago until I could figure out what to do with them. I took three stones, one for each recent blessing, and set up my own Ebenezer...to remember.
Maybe these washing machine rocks, these kitchen counter rocks, these sock drawer rocks are my own Ebenezer. Perhaps this is God’s way of reminding me, of nudging me to appreciate the present, to remember that these rock-collecting boys won’t always be so small and innocent, so innocently keen on collecting rocks. Someday, someday not so long from now, they’ll move on to bigger and better projects, perhaps projects much less innocent.
I won’t always be lifting damp stones one by one from the bottom of my washer. I won’t always be pushing them with my toes off the bottom of my bed. I won’t always have these little boys, so eager to discover the next garden treasure, so eager to display that prize so proudly.
I may keep one or two of these plain old brown speckly garden-variety rocks. I may stash one or two in my own keepsake box. I may rediscover them someday, buried beneath handmade birthday cards and dried flower petals. I may hold one in my hand, my own washing-machine Ebenezer.