A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor to teach the adult Sunday School class at my church. I felt very comfortable teaching, but teaching a lesson from the Bible was indeed an honor and very exciting.
Anyway, within the lesson, there was a point about how Jesus is the chief cornerstone in our lives and we are living stones; stones that build each other up, grow, and flourish. I pointed out that there is a plant called Living Stones – it resembles a stone but it has a colorful succulent that sprouts. It is very interesting. Two adults in the class Googled the stones, one of them was our Pastor’s wife and one of the ministers of the church. They were fascinated by them.
Later, the minister told me that she had received a phone call from someone who needed prayer because she felt very sad about someone who was very negative towards her. The minister listened to this woman describe the pain as “someone throwing stones at her.” This gave the minister pause. She thought about our Sunday School lesson earlier that day and the stones reference resonated with her.
The next day, in our church’s morning prayer group, she pursued the reference of living stones and asked the question “What kind of stones are we throwing?” When I saw the post on Facebook from my friend, Donna, I loved it immediately.
But then, I examined myself: “What type of stones am I throwing to others?” Sometimes, I think I am stuck in the moment when Jesus got a whip and turned over the tables and whipped people out of the temple courtyard in Jerusalem because they were selling trinkets in a holy place. The anger I hold against people is not a good stone to throw. I mean, Jesus’ anger was for good; and, sometimes I try to justify my anger with people.
I will be honest: My complaints were turning against me. My body was declining because the foulness was overtaking me. I had to do something to get myself back to a place of survival!
The stones that we throw can be harmful to us too.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be a “holier than thou” person. What I’m trying to achieve is to throw more positive stone – living stones and not dead stones. Dead stones can kill people’s spirit and also my own spirit. Dead stones just drop heavily and stay there. Living stones can build people up and also myself.
I am a teacher and everything I feed my students has to feed me too because it comes from me. Therefore, I have to drop those dead stones because I am not perfect either. Yes, there are people whose actions are questionable and I wonder, “Why do you have to be like that?” Or “Why are you trying so hard to be liked?” I am not sure that is a stone or not; but, I have to look at myself and see if the stones I am throwing will benefit someone and not hurt them.
You see, everyone is hurting in one way or another. There is pain searing across this country, if not the world. There are a few living stones that want to help heal the land, but are afraid they won’t be accepted. They are so many who have dogged the actual acts and beliefs of living stones, but they actually accept the dead stones more often.
Why is that? Why is it better to hurl those dead stones?
I cannot promise that my dead stone throwing days are over; but I have to be cognizant of throwing them. I have to step back and figure out how this stone is going to hurt or heal me. The stones I am throwing can be thrown back at me too.
I want to be a living stone and I want to throw living stones to others. I want to build others up and keep them alive with hope and love! And, at the same time, I want to help them to not throw dead stones that might hinder others and hurt themselves at the same time.
But, I am going to do this out of necessity for the survival of my own soul and conscience. The phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is not true. Words embed themselves in the human brain, and we tend to think we are immune to the hurtful words hurled at us.
So, if I had ever thrown a dead stone at you, please forgive me. Here’s a living stone for you to use:
“Don’t throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass.” – Benjamin Franklin.