As a child, I collected stones. The unique features of each one I gathered drew me to them. Some found their way into my “special box” from my driveway. Their grayish white gravelly appearance didn’t necessarily stand out but they originated from my home and that marked their identity. Others I found on adventures. Again, their origins tell a story from my life. Stones found near the shoreline of Lake Michigan, near my home, bore witness to a bigger narrative: The beauty of God’s handiwork in creation and the ways they interact to bring out more of His radiance. The stone’s smooth surface speaks to the years of sand and water washing over them. Inside, my small treasure box, a mosaic of stones lined the walls.
As I grew older, friends replaced my stones. Collecting friends was not a hobby but a passion. Not for the sake of accumulating numbers but for broadening my understanding of who I am and who God is.
The unique features of each one drew me to each one. Some found their way into my heart merely because we were shared residence on the same street. Others, I found through adventures. Their origins connected to a moment in my life. Like my stones, some of these friendships have endured the friction of rough elements. Each one enhances my understanding of God’s character and artistry. A story of connection defines my attachment to them. Inside my heart, a mosaic of friends lines it’s walls.
But this collection will never end. Each person in my collection has forever altared my life. Each transaction carries an understanding of a bigger narrative and my identity within it. My view of God’s creative and sovereign hand expands with every addition.
And so do the walls of my heart.
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