The Rocks that Cry Out
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Cassaundra and I walked around the AACC Waymaker World Conference with a sense of, "We don't belong here." This was a 6,000 plus gathering with famed speakers like Ben Carson, Lysa Terkeurst, and Tim Clinton. The attendees were mostly counselors. I could see the years of experience on their faces. The booths that filled the exhibit halls spoke of organizations that specialized in complicated trauma from really dark places. These counselors are skilled in ministering the kind of hope, I hope I never need. And then there was our booth. A simple booth with a guided prayer journal...and some rocks.
The rocks are a recent addition to the PraiStones Collection - with the goal of capturing detailed answers to prayer worth remembering and powerful - to retell. Yet, attendees of the conference (for complicated problems) could not keep themselves away from our little rocks. For four days we heard stories of stones and rocks as attendees searched our modest pile for one that represented a special time where God came through for a client or a friend. One man was particularly overcome with all the stones as he read words like, "redeemed", "loved", and "sheltered". He smiled knowingly as he put both hands down on the booth table, looked up at me and exclaimed, "The rocks will cry out!"
No doubt, this was a reference to Luke 19:40. And I was about to correct him since these rocks were not meant to be a shout out to Jesus' critics. But then again I re-read the passage and had to agree. There is an overwhelming sense of awe that comes from seeing the healing power of God at work in complicated places. So I decided to gather the courage to talk to our booth-neighbor about what she did. She was the head of an organization that ministered to victims of sexual trauma from predators that hide inside "safe places." Honestly, I didn't want to know more, but as her testimony unfolded, I saw a woman who was filled with light and joy. No doubt her rocks were crying out. And as I made my way around the booths that held the testimonies of other counselors and ministers that brought bona fide help to impossibly dark places, I wanted to cry out, "God, is there anything too hard for you?"
When working through sorrow and weakness of any magnitude, the pressure to "keep it quiet" from the critics...whether in our heads or living in our homes, is real. But these rocks remind me that if I become silent or somehow shut down, I give way to the lies that say, "God is not strong enough...here." And even if I can't find the faith to move to the next step, I can find strength in the testimonies of my brothers and sisters who have solid proof that God is able...here too. And this gives me the courage to not only step out, but share my own story so that I might add my voice to that beautiful Rock concert!
You have rocks, but if you've never taken the time to capture your stories of praise, on paper, where you can easily recall and retell the times that God came through, why not start today? PraiStones offers a simple, uncomplicated journal to help you track that future testimony or add your past victory of praise to that growing pile of proof that can't stop crying out, "He is Lord!...here too!"
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