I keep a basket of stones at church, with big and small rocks, some souvenirs of trips and others just those smooth white stones you can buy in a bag at the craft store. I find lots of reasons to use the whole collection, and every now and then I give rocks away, if it feels right. I just make sure to tuck away the ones I want to keep.
For years I’ve guarded two pink stones, rough and porous, picked up on a trip to Bryce Canyon ten years ago. It was another person’s favorite place on the planet, and the pressure to love it and find it wondrous was immeasurable. I kept the stones as a gesture of respect for the memory of another’s delight, as a concrete expression of my commitment to another person’s limited joy.
Today I gave away stones to the children, as we talked about Peter being the rock on which Christ will build his church. We used a Sharpie to draw a cross on each one.
And today I gave away the pieces of Bryce, letting the children choose them from the basket of stones, letting them bring a new delight, an expression of my commitment to a different joy.