“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
Our last exercise at Haven several weeks ago was called “The Stone Ritual”. We each had to choose a small pebble from a basket. We passed a basket around the group and picked out any small stone from the basket that we wanted to pick out. We then held the stone – turning it over and over in our fingers – and said out loud the name of the one we had lost three times. Not loud but with enough volume to be heard by the few sitting around each of us.
In rolling the pebble around in our fingers, we were asked to feel for the smooth spots and for the rough spots. Find them, we were told. And then consider, we were told, the contrast between the smooth spots and the rough spots.
Our facilitator then read:
We say grief is like a roller coaster; it has its ups and downs. There are times when things seem better, and we think maybe we’re making some progress in our grief journey. But often without warning, we are struck again. And it hurts. Ups and downs.
This stone represents the contrast. Sometimes you are smooth and strong, but there are now rough spots, too.
The loss of your loved one created the rough spots. And just as they are on the stone, now they will be on you, too.
There will always be a part of you that is rough and raw – the piece of you that holds the memories and love, the piece of you that is missing, the piece of you that has longing.
We look for answers and sometimes there are none. So we work for comfort and serenity.
When you are feeling rough, look at and feel your stone. Find the rough spots and remember that you are not alone in these times. Then find the smooth spots and know that rough times will smooth out just as your stone has smooth spots when you turn it over and over in your fingers.
I have rough spots now.