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I like rocks.


Priscillah Grace Nyambura. The girl loves rocks. Loves. And we've spent a decent amount of time trying to convince her that she doesn't need to pick up rocks. I think as of late, it's been a pretty successful mission.

But she's passed on her affinity for these rocks...

to me.

Currently, there are four little rocks in my coat pocket (the ACC coat pockets are deep - it's cause the manufacturers knew we have children?) Anyway. Four little rocks. And they are special to me. And for a while, I hid the fact that I had these little rocks in my pocket, because I didn't want Little Miss Prisc to regress into her habit, plus, I felt kind of silly keeping rocks in my pocket. My bags are heavy enough on their own, I don't need someone to pick up my coat too and say, "What, are you keeping rocks in here or something?" Because then I'd have to say yes.

But today, reading Joshua, I realized - liking rocks isn't so weird. And holding onto rocks that are special or symbolic to you isn't so completely bizarre. Why? Well, dear Joshua, tell us the story again, will you?

"And Joshua said to them, "Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, 'What do these stones mean to you?' then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever." (4:5-7)

Then, you see, it occurred to me: God used rocks to help people remember things. "Build a memorial" "make an alter" "sleep on this stone then name the place it rests on because of what happened here" and it goes on. God used rocks. And if I even recall correctly... the 10 Commandments were written on... um... pieces of plywood? Oh, no wait, rocks.

One dear little rock in my pocket is in the shape of an arrow. I found it the night that Faith, Priscillah, Naomi and I were on the bank of a river skipping rocks across the water. Or should I say, the night that Faith and I were skipping rocks across the water and Priscillah and Naomi were finding big rocks and hucking them about a foot into the water (their muscles grow bigger each day, rest assured). And this tiny rock in the shape of an arrow is special to me, because I think of those girls doing those things. It's also special to me because it reminds me of where I'm going. See, on this stay with these girls I had a mini-panic attack in that after tour, I have no idea what I'm going to do. I don't have a job, I don't have plans. I'm going to visit Missy, then... what? I don't know. Collect rocks or something stellar like that. Maybe open a rock shop and make all kinds of money - or rather, open a rock pawn shop. I'll trade you my pretty blue-ish rock for your pretty diamond rock. I'll be rich.

Seriously though. I have no idea what I'm going to do. And so this arrow-shaped rock reminds me that even though I'm completely clueless, God has a purpose and a plan. He knows which way I'm going to go. It's peace in a promise I'm reminded of constantly, thanks to this tiny little rock.

So. Rocks. Cool? Sure. Do I like earth science? Why, no. Not even a little. So why is one of the rocks that I carry white with a blue shimmer? I don't know. But I think it's pretty, and when I look at it, it reminds me of the time when Ruthie picked it up and said, "Auntie, a gift for you!" The same night that I was reminded of the beauty of God's creation as we walked along the shore of the Alaskan Pacific and saw a bazillion magnificently colored starfish littered across the rock wall of the ocean at low-tide (that was tonight... but doesn't it sound more epic if it's worded as though it was long, distant past?) I think so. So that little gifted rock from Ruthie stands to me as a "memorial" of this night.

And I no longer think it's weird, because God used rocks as memorials too.