Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house. I Peter 2
My husband loves rocks. Not pretty rocks or unusual rocks or interesting rocks or semi-precious stones — just plain rocks. His eyes light up when we’re driving down the highway and he sees a rock slide. More than once I’ve had to pull over the car at a construction site to pick up rocks that are just going to be hauled away as fill. He’s always astounded that someone was really about to trash them, and he’s delighted to give them a new home in our gardens. Each one is placed (and often moved a couple of times) in just the right spot, highlighting its own shape and color, and focusing attention on the plants nearby. Not one of the rocks is hewn into a particular shape. Each is roughed up by construction equipment or smoothed by nature’s wind and water. Together, these previously discarded, unwanted stones beautify their surroundings.
The best thing a family of faith can do is remember that every single person is beautifully important to the entire community. This is a recurrent theme throughout the letters of the New Testament. The author of First Peter calls us “living stones,” to be “built into a spiritual house.”
We are rocks. Rocks with a purpose. And that purpose can’t be accomplished if any rock is discarded.
Every idea, old or new, is needed. Every person, young or aged, is valued. Every soul, troubled or overly-satisfied or whole, is treasured. Every spirit, tired or high strung, is refreshed. Every child of God is welcomed into a house where God’s other children wait with open arms.
Together with God, they are built into something beautiful.
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2011