When Moses said, when David said, when the Bible says, when the song says, when I say...
That ‘The Lord is my Rock’,
What do you think of?
Do you picture a mountain?
Standing proud, chasing clouds
Challenging you to scale its heights
And share the view?
Do you think of a craggy cave
With secret crevices in which to hide?
Dark depths that hold no threat
A fortress against the enemy
A refuge in which to rest until the storm has passed
Or about the rocks that lie mismatched
Along river beds or cliff bases?
Beckoning you to clamber over them
To feel their surfaces beneath your feet and hands
Each one wears its past like a map
Fractures and fissures and unexpected colours trace their origins
I like a big rock with a polished coat that sits beside the sea and soaks up the sun
After a dip in icy water, i climb onto it and lie, eyes closed, lashes dripping, and feel the heat seep into my skin
Or do you imagine something a lot smaller?
A rock you can fit in the palm of your hand
Like the smooth black stones my grandfather used to collect
Now that he’s gone
I keep one on the mantelpiece
My thumb strokes it
Or how about a grain of sand?
Sifting through my fingers
They remind me of my insignificance
But also of a promise
And that God knows
Just like he knows the number of hairs on my head
Just like he knows whenever a sparrow falls
Each grain could tell a story
Each one used to be part of something bigger
-A stepping stone, a cave, a cliff, a mountain
Each one could be traced back to its father
The rock from which it came
Rocks shake and rocks break
Fall back to earth
They splinter and quake
And crumble and tumble
And destruct and destroy
And I’m not sure how safe you are and how neat a comparison this is?
But you’re not neat – are you?
Beaver said of Aslan, ‘He is not safe, but he is good’
And so I long
Whatever shape you come in
To be a chip off the old block