Many years ago, during the summer months, we as a family, would go to swim at Carpenter's Pond. The entrance of water due to the contrast is always cold, even if the water temperature was warmed due to the heat from the sun. So the process of going into the water was gradual.
I can still picture myself going into the water slowly, cautiously. The feeling beneath my feet sometimes was mucky and slimy, but refreshing, the sun, hot on my back. It took awhile to wade in, while others ran in and jumped making a huge splash. Older kids could swim and they would do headstands, sticking their feet into the air for all to see. As I got older, I would do the same, but not this day.
Looking into the water, I spotted a rock, one which I would avoid stepping on, as rocks hurt the bottom of your feet. This rock stood out from the other rocks, revealing gold spots all over it. It seemed to glow in the sun and danced with joy even though it never moved from the spot it had settled in. That rock became a marker as each time I went swimming, I looked for it. It was still there, always there. Even on dark days, it was there and its special light could be seen. Light that permeated the darkness all around it.
If you were a rock, what would you look like? What effect would the darkness all around have on you. Would you still continue to be illumined, showing the way. Would you be unmovable through the conditions, turmoils of life?
I often wondered if the shinny metal went all the way into the center of the rock, or was it just on the exterior. It had to be a chip from a larger rock, which was not visible, but I could imagine the light that would extend from it. Especially when the sun shone on it exposing it's beauty.
That little rock was there just for me, and it was my treasure. I looked for it always, every time I went swimming as a little child. Then, one summer I grew up and no longer did I wade in, but like the older kids, I ran and jumped into the deeper part, ignoring the rock. The rock was still there but I had moved on, changed.
There was a lesson to learn from the little rock. It will always be there with it's brightness to shine amongst the muck which surrounds it. The light it has that shines forth will always win over darkness, even on the darkest day, lighting the way for all that come to the water. In some way it has become a beacon of hope for something larger. It stands alone, in shallow water, in front of the deepness that is to come. It is a symbol of an unextinguishable light source, and a reflection to those who look upon it.
We must all cling to the light of the rock and be rock bearers to a world that needs both hope and Light. A world without light is a world without hope.
Today's reading, Isaiah 5-20 "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"
Sometimes, you just need to take the example of a little bright stone. Does your light shine amongst the darkness? Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible: 1John -1:6 "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (7) But if we walk in the light as He is the light, we have fellowship with one another, " 1John 2:9 "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness"
There is so much darkness in the world. We are to be the light, loving each other. I have always believed that America has served the world as a Christian Nation. Looking at the events that unfold in Japan, our hearts go out to them. They are living in dark days, surely we need to be counted among other nations providing for our brother. We must always be a beacon of hope, having received the Light, to those who need us.
Matthew 4:16 "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,"
Almost A Minyan
4 months ago