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Can You Listen to a Stone?

Yesterday, on the blog Radical Amazement, there were beautiful photos of gatherings of butterflies on creek pebbles. Some were black and others were typical Monarch golden butterflies.

Years ago when I was experiencing several truly heartbreaking tragedies, I was seriously considering getting one of those tacky bumper stickers that loosely translated say, “Manure Happens.”

Driving out my country road one morning, I was yelling at God in my mind, “Where are you? I am up to my neck in manure here?” Just then, I noticed a large ripe cow paddy beside the road. It was literally covered in large golden butterflies. I had to pull over because I was both laughing and crying.

What a perfect symbol and answer to my cry. Yes, manure happens, but so does grace. And often it’s the manure that is the fertilizer that brings the grace of growth and transformation. A couple of days later a friend found me a bumper sticker that said, “Grace happens.”

After remembering all this, I decided to journal for the first time in months. When I opened to the last page I had written, the last line was, “Can you listen to a Stone?”

It seemed to connect with the small stones and the butterflies.  As I reflected on them, I realized that I actually do better coping with the larger disasters of life, because I do turn to God and somehow focus on listening and being empowered by grace. It’s the myriad of small difficulties that seem to accumulate and turn me into a nervous wreck.

I’m in one of those sieges right now. And not doing very well at letting go and letting God empower me. As I looked at the photos, it hit me that once again God had sent me a symbol. There is the grace of transformation even in the bunches of small pebbles in my life.

It’s a wonderful reminder to live in the present moment, listening to each small hard thing for God’s call to grace and growth.

“Yes, with grace, I can begin to listen to one small stone at a time.”