In addition to collecting shells, I have always gathered everything else i found beautiful. My aesthetic could best be described as “natural history museum”. In fourth grade, my friend Jodi and her family took me with them to Slide Rock, AZ and shook their heads as I insisted on bringing home a rock about the size of a phone book because it was the EXACT same color as my skin. Exact! I have fossils, arrowheads, feathers and petrified wood. As i looked over my collection, I knew a portrait of Jesus Christ has to be done out of rocks. He is the Rock of our Salvation, after all.
Rocks are constant, strong and reliable. Climb atop a boulder and you get a longer view and a better perspective. In the parable of the wise man, he built his house upon a rock and was therefore able to withstand the storms. During the storms of my life, it felt as if there was a hand reaching down to pull me up on that Rock. When I lost my dad at 17, and my sisters-in-law since then, my vantage from the Rock showed me that my family is eternal and that I would get to be with them again. At 30 when I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, I found the peace i needed to process that and also the knowledge that my life was in God’s hands so whatever the outcome, all would be well. I knew Jesus Christ had felt everything I would be called on to endure and like a rock, He wasn’t going anywhere. He would be with me through it all.
The times in my life where I have felt despair have always been when I have climbed down off that rock to sit in the soggy sand of worldly pursuits. From there, I only see what is right in front of me. It is lonely and shifty. I’m so grateful that once I realize what I am doing, I can repent and get back on that sure foundation where there is always peace and an eternal view.