Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rock Reflections

I must now fully confess my obsession with rocks.  I don't mean the geological fascination of naming the mineral elements, but the archaeological use of these rocks, their links to the past, the stories they cannot tell.  Living in Lebanon, I touch the Holy Land history in my modern life.  How old is this ruin of stones?  Who saw it?  If this ancient church's rock foundation is 1500 years old, what did the faithful grapple with inside?  What did they understand?  Who taught them?  I know that Elijah, Jesus, and many of the apostles traveled Lebanon's ancient roads, saw the same mountains, felt the same sea breezes.  Where do I fit in after 2000 years?  How close am I to the people who sacrificed to celebrate Christ in the Eucharist, hidden in the mountains, meeting along the seashores, gathering at Lebanon's ports?

My husband rightly anticipates a high level of my "geeking out" over early Church history when we tour this part of the Middle East.  Put me in the middle of a pile of ruined capitals and foundation stones and I'm good to go.  Running my hand along the chisel marks created so long ago connects me, chisels at my spirit to fit me into the structure of this house of Christianity.  Jesus told the Pharisees in Luke 19:40, "I tell you, even if they (disciples) kept silent, the very rocks would cry out!"  They do cry out.  They remind me that history exists, and it is called the present.  Now, how do I want to live it?  What do I make of my own history?  What "rocks" will I leave behind to witness to Christ?

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