Once I was cleaning out my tired ol’ minivan and I came across a common sight. Amongst the half eaten, hardened french fries, empty water bottles, numerous scraps of paper, and other various evidences of a Martin Family occupancy, I found a pile of rocks. They lay gingerly between seat belt buckles, having been collected just a while before. To the naked and untrained eye those rocks seemed ordinary, as ordinary as any other rocks but I knew these were not just any ol’ rocks, but for reasons I can not fully articulate these rocks were special.
The bunch that made the trip home and now lay anticipating a final resting place in kitchen window were fewer than were initially collected, but I had to limit the number lest I risk an additional 20 pounds of cargo riding around in my van. They had been collected on a typical “Martin Adventure Day.” We have those days often enough – it may be a quick trip to the fascinating recycle plant with the metal-oddity graveyard on its walls. Or it could be a trip to the local creek whereupon we talk about the vermilion darter that could be credited for saving a favorite place to swim and play. That miniscule fished saved a creek jam packed with memories and adventures of my own childhood. I tell the Martins those stories so as not to lose them to time and the break-neck speed of this life. In my mind when I am transported back, I remember the tales of family lore, a most vivid childhood memory standing on a muscadine covered walking bridge, cramming the delicious fruit into my mouth while my Mama was nearby sitting and visiting with our church friends. Ms. Christine’s house may not have actually been yellow but in my memory it was and I can still feel the juice running down my chin and the rushing water below my bare feet. That memory is one of my sweetest and most treasured, and when I am sitting on the banks of that creek I am reminded of it.
I am unsure the origin of those particular rocks, but if I had to guess I would say there is a high likelihood they were collected as I traveled back to that happy place in my memory. To tell the truth, I’d forgotten they were even in my van, usually they make there way to the windowsill of the kitchen quickly, perhaps those particular rocks were abandoned at my urging that all van occupants carry their own “stuff inside.” So it wasn’t until some time later when I needed the “WayBack” seat to be flat that I found them and brought them back to my remembrance.
Rocks have been a staple in my home, going on 17 years now. They’ve served as numerous presents and gifts. They’ve served as tools and toys. Each has been carefully chosen and picked up. Some are placed in a pocket or in a purse. Others are carried in a fist. Some rocks are shaped like hearts. Some are smooth and some rough. Some are unique in color but are carefully chosen and found to be worthy of making its way to our home.
The rocks are an ever present reminder The King; He likens Himself to a Rock. He names Peter, Cephus – the Rock. He has declared that the rocks will cry out to Him is if we fail to do so.
I recognize soon there is coming a day when the rocks will cease to be gifts for me, when my kiddos will lose the wonder of choosing those gifts. In the years of late I’ve begun to see a steady decline in their collection and presentation and it saddens me. I’m reminded how quickly time flies.
I will admit that when these treasures appeared in my backseat I was overjoyed and delighted to find them there. Reminders that my Rock, my Salvation, will sustain me fully in the coming years through the change that is inevitable, and I can trust that the Rock will uphold me even in the midst of uncertainty.