Thursday, March 21, 2013

“No! Say, Stone!’”

My son, Jake demonstrated an interest in nature at a very young age.  We loved going for nature walks, identifying the critters, listening to their voices, etc.  For as long as I can recall, Jake also exhibited a tender heart toward children with “disabilities”.  When he was a pre-teen, we lived close to a state park which had a nature program for such children.  I talked to the director about the possibility of having Jake volunteer to help.  The director was very keen toward Jake’s young heart and was more than interested in having an assistant!  Once a week, Jake went to “work” at the nature center and to spend the day with his new friends.  What an experience this was for him! 

Jake developed a special relationship with Gina, a young girl who was blind.  Wanting to make something very special for her, Jake decided upon a “touch and feel” book of Bible stories.  Upon its completion, we made a trip to Gina’s home in order for Jake to present his gift to her.

Jake and Gina sat next to one another as he read the book to her.  At certain points in the stories Jake would take Gina’s finger and helped her to feel something that was described in the text.  We used a piece of sand paper to emulate a stone mentioned in one of the stories.  As Jake read about the stone, he took Gina’s finger and rubbed it across the sandpaper and explained, “This is a stone.”

After some time, Gina’s mother returned home from work.  Gina excitedly encouraged her mother to read the book that Jake had made.  When she came to the part about the stone, Gina’s mother took Gina’s finger, rubbed it across the sandpaper and said, “This is a ‘rock.’”  Gina promptly retorted, “No!  Say, ‘Stone!’”  Gina wanted to hear the story, just as Jake had told it!  Any other version seemed incorrect to her.

As sweet as this story is, I’ve come to realize more and more how tainted our lenses are toward hearing spiritual truth.  We’ve heard “the story” told in a certain way for so many years that we resist reading it without our tinted lenses; in fact, it is one of the most difficult things we’ll ever have to do.  We like the story the way that we’ve always heard it.  Regardless of whether or not we learned it accurately, it’s familiar and comfortable.

A number of years ago, I encouraged a lady to reexamine a particular spiritual subject.  Together, we read the various sections of scripture investigating the topic.  I then asked her what her thoughts were.  She reiterated her preconceived understanding.  I challenged her response, “But… what does Scripture say?  She acquiesced, “I know what you are getting at, but…. if I go there it will require me to re-evaluate everything I’ve ever believed.  You have to understand that everything my family has ever stood for rests upon this!  It is too frightening and over-whelming to consider that we’ve had it wrong all along.  I just can’t go there!”

Although I was pretty certain of her answer, I felt it necessary to ask,

“Are you saying that you’d rather believe a lie
than to seek truth
no matter what the outcome may be?”

With reservation she said, “Yes.”  My heart sank.  I knew she was not standing on solid ground.

As familiar and comfortable as it may be, your foundation may not be a solid rock.  In fact, it may very well be sinking sand.  The consideration is frightening; isn’t it?  I truly understand the fear.  I’ve been there!  However, at some point, we all have to face the reality that we only have two options:

1.      continue, in vain, to reinforce the unsupported and deceptive security upon which we’ve always trusted until there is nothing left to stand on.
2.      be willing to let the unstable foundation to come tumbling down around us and trust Father to rebuild a firm and lasting foundation, one solid rock at a time.

Or should I say “stone!?


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

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