Thoughts on Faith

Rocks and Water…

The waves on Lake Michigan are especially high today, bashing against the breakwater, roaring across the beach. I choose a spot near the lifeguard chair to sit and reflect.  Rocks dominate the foreground. Whitecaps peak all the way to the horizon. Rocks and water create an energetic roar.

I ponder the scripture I will be preaching on in a few weeks, Exodus 17:1-7, where the people of God demand water in the wilderness. God instructs Moses to strike the rock with his staff. Water comes pouring out. The place is named to remember where the people tested God.

Rocks are hard, impervious, and lifeless. They possess a solid strength. A firm foundation. Water is life-giving and fluid. Bodies of water mesmerize us. I wonder what it means for water to come pouring out from a place we least expect it. I think of my own hard edges, pieces of me that I guard, unwilling to be cracked open for fear of vulnerability and transformation. I consider stone church buildings and the immovable, stale traditions that weigh us down. What if we could allow our hardened places to be cracked open? Wouldn’t it be a miracle to see the waters of our baptismal, our promises to resist evil, injustice and oppression and trust in God’s grace, come pouring out of our stubbornest places?

As I watch the waves crash over the granite breakwater, I am reminded of the imagery of Amos 5:24 where righteousness and justice roll down in a mighty stream. Water is powerful. So mighty that the breakwater boulders will eventually be smoothed, cracked, and worn down to the tiny, polished pebbles under my feet.

Gracious God, crack me open. Wear away my rough edges, wash me with the life-giving waters. Transform me into the person you have called me to be.

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