There is a stone the Lord gave me years ago that I keep now in the house. For a while it lived in the garden, but as the years have gone by the stone has become more precious to me. I finally tired of washing off the dirt each spring. So now, it is an in-house stone. I use it every Lent to symbolize the stone that was placed in front of Jesus’ tomb after his persecution and death and rolled away during His resurrection.
On May 6, 1992 I asked the Lord to speak to me, send an explanation or at least comfort. I saw a red stone and I picked it up. “Well, Lord,” I said, “You spoke to me once before this way. You show me which stones and I’ll listen.” When the walk was over I was holding five red stones, some smaller than others, some smooth, some rough. I had seen one particular white stone sticking up from the others in the path. (Look at the stone photo and imagine seeing just the tiptop part sticking out of the dirt.) When I went to pick it up I had to unearth it. That larger part was hidden and it was the largest stone of all. He spoke in my heart …
“I endured the wounds of hands and feet and side for you, for each of you. There are things you too must endure, suffering and sacrifices you must embrace. Some of them are small. Many are rough and difficult. By embracing these things through your fellowship with Me, I offer you life and that more abundantly. Embrace even the difficult things. You may only perceive a little life, but you’ll find through your fellowship with Me a big chunk of life, and that abundantly. Many of My people refuse to embrace what I allow … sadly, they miss the life gift.”
In the mail on May 7, 1992 there was letter entitled Eastertide 1992, Brother Dominic, S.S.F. Minister Provincial: “No one of us escapes the clutches of suffering. For some, the path of suffering is severe, and the cross, heavy. Yet the secret of Easter is that suffering can be a great opportunity, a blessing. Our pain can bear fruit. The value of suffering does not lie in the pain, but in the opportunity it presents to grow, to be purified and transformed through suffering.”
This year I was determined to find what the Lord had told me about this stone. I could not remember when it had been given to me or exactly what He said. After much prayer and searching, perusing old journals and looking, I finally found the writing from May 1992 typed out in my story and poetry folder. It has been about nineteen years since I walked and picked up and dig out the stones He showed me. And His message to me is as fresh and full of revelation for me today as it was when I first noted it in my journal.
Some years after finding the stone I bought a small figure of the Risen Christ at a religious shop, probably intended to depict His ascension. Each year I have placed Him near and finally on a small stand above the stone. His is the victory, death has no sting, and suffering will be redeemed! God sees everything, even the thoughts of our hearts. May He bless you this Holy Week with an increased awareness of His presence and abundant encouragement to embrace through your fellowship with Him, a big chunk of life and that abundantly!