Letting the Rocks Fall

November 24, 2009 | 14 comments

One by one, we dropped rocks at the foot of the cross in a jagged pile of pain.

Our rough-hewn burdens had names like Doubt. Fear. Pride. Anger. Envy. Guilt. Jealousy.

It’s not easy dropping burdens, for they plead hard to stay. We hear them whisper: “You won’t make it without me. You’ll pick me up again.”

Our rocks weigh heavy in our pockets, yet we carry them around anyhow. We find comfort in their familiarity, mistaking their presence for companionship.

And these burdens we carry? They speak in a voice that feigns friendship.

Have you heard the voice in your rocks, the voice that suggests you’ll never survive without:

The boyfriend, abusing you
The bottle, enticing you
The money, controlling you
The addiction, chaining you
The relationship, ensnaring you

Are you gripped by rocks of doubt, fear, grief or shame? Do you know your rocks by name?

Too often, I trust my rocks more than The Rock who waits to rescue me from the heavy burdens begging to stay.

But the voice of Jesus pleads stronger still in a grand invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.”

And so on a Saturday afternoon in Iowa, we clutched rocks in our hands and gave them names. We called them what they were — not what they pretended to be.

We stooped to drop them at the foot of a cross, dumping burdens on a Savior’s back, and remembering how He already carried them up a hill that still runs red.

One by one by one, we left our pain in a pile. For good.


O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

— Helen Lemmel, 1922


God’s Grace, it still amazes.

We dropped burdens,
found forgiveness,
sought wholeness and
discovered grace anew at a three-day spiritual retreat in northwest Iowa.

I offer thanksgiving for the work of a gracious Savior during our weekend “vacation with Jesus,” and I whisper thanks to you for your prayers.

Oh …. and our rocks? They’re gone. A pastor tossed them in a river on his way home.

by | November 24, 2009 | 14 comments


  1. RCUBEs

    What an awesome, symbolic way of "letting go" of those unwanted baggage that just weigh you [us] down. While there is only One Rock Who does the opposite – lift you [us] up.

    I'm glad the pastor did the finale by tossing all of these rocks into the river [bye! bye! spiritual baggage. Off to the Living Water you all go!]…

    Happy Thanksgiving to you sister and may God bless you abundantly as you live a much lighter load now! "His yoke after all…is light.]

  2. ~*Michelle*~

    Like RCubes said……what a symbolic way to let go of the burdens. We did something similar at The Soulfest where we banged nails into a 20 ft cross….then later that evening, all the nails were covered with white carnations to represent Love covering sin. It was the most beautiful sight to see.

    Thanks again, for such inspiration……and Happy Thanksgiving Jennifer!

  3. Karen

    Amen…I love Psalm 61:2…"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."

  4. Epiphany

    Great post. I love how you said sometimes you trust your rocks more than the Rock. That is so true of us isn't it? I know it is with me. Even if things are awful and hard we hang on to them because it's what we know.

    I think I will be mulling over this post for a while, thank you.

  5. Runner Mom

    Loved this! I am such a visual, tactile learner! Thanks so much for sharing this and the beautiful words to one of my favorite hymns. Y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. Missy

    What a great way to symbolize the message.
    Maybe I should start my own rock garden.

  7. Daune

    That's so cool! I love the symbolism that He gives us with creation…
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. patty

    🙂 love you, sister & loved worshipping with you…

  9. Deidra

    What a beautiful word picture to carry with you in your heart! It's an amazing gift we've been given, this Great Exchange. Turning in what holds us back for the One Who sets us free!

    Thanksgiving blessings to you, my friend!

  10. L.L. Barkat

    tossed them in the river… that was the fun part I bet… 🙂

  11. Graceful

    What a great idea. My church did slips of paper in vases on the altar…but I like the rock idea better. It's more tangible. And I love that your pastor tossed them into the river!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Tea With Tiffany

    In the river where they belong. Yes, so we can rest on You, Lord Jesus, our ROCK.

    Beautiful as always.

    Happy Thanksgiving, friend. Missed peeking in again. You always have something I love reading.

    Hugs from Colorado!

  13. Lyla Lindquist

    "A jagged pile of pain."

    Hmm. Yes, I read the rest of the post. A couple of times, in fact. But that line keeps asking me back.

  14. Freddae'

    This brought me to tears. What a beautiful expression. I'm a minister in OK and I would love to do this with those I serve. Amazing! Thank you for sharing.


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