Next time you pick up a stone on the beach or by the side of a stream, examine it closely. It is like you in some ways – just another pebble on the beach, and yet unique.

Turn it over in your hand.Pebbles on a Beech

Study every detail.

Now hold it tight.

Imagine that you are that stone ……

Long ago you began to form. At the beginning of time you began. And through the minutes and the hours and the years you were carefully shaped.

First there was darkness. All you knew was shifting sand, churning seas, and the fire in the earth. But slowly the earth cooled and the fire was soothed by the waters.

The sands began to settle. Particles came together, layers formed upon layers, liquids crystallised. And you became yourself – lovingly shaped by the gentle, deliberate power of the rain and wind and waves, and by the slow, unstoppable movement of the earth.

And the darkness slowly lifted, and gave way to light.

Now, here you are, complete in all your shape and structure, lying on the surface, in the warmth of the sunshine. Around you are other stones like yourself. Yet all are different.

Some of you are smooth and polished; some are more rough and coarse, at least on the outside. Some are beautiful, others look plainer but have their detail hidden inside, or their beauty is only apparent when you look closely. Some feel worn down, others battered by the knocks that they have received. Some are tough; others fragile, fearful that they will break if dropped.

All stones like yourself, but all so different. Showing one face, but hiding what is inside them: the cracks; the crystals; the hard heart; the bright colours.

And God sees you. And he stops …

And he chooses you. He picks you up, and holds you close. And he knows you; and he knows what is in your heart: even the things that you thought were hidden.

And he loves you.

Read Psalm 139, verses 1-18.

If you would like to respond to God’s love, offer him something of yourself.

Use the stone that you are holding: do something symbolic with it – something which represents your offering to God.

 

Pebble meditation © Roger Makin 2009