Sand and Stone – Chaplain Peter

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert.  During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.  The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, he wrote in the sand:

Today my best friend slapped me in the face.

They kept walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.  The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him.  After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:

Today my best friend saved my life.

The friend, who slapped and saved his best friend, asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.

–Unknown

 

All too often the carving in the stone is the message of shame and pain that many men and women carry on their backs throughout their lives.

So many people harbor bitterness and un-forgiveness from past hurts in life and are imprisoned by their feelings.  Not only imprisoned by their feelings but incarcerated for the inappropriate behavior that too often follows those feelings.  A major portion of my time in Chester County Prison is invested in Biblically counseling the inmates. I strive to have them become aware of the healing touch of Jesus Christ that can reach the inner most pain in their heart which usually stems from not forgiving or not being forgiven.  The forgiveness of Jesus is able to then break down the carved stone that bears the message of despair into tiny grains of sand that can be blown away by the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit. [1John 1:9] The past identity of the inmate also gets removed from the carved stone by realizing that they are new creatures in Christ. [2Cor. 5:17] How willing are we the people to write the past crimes and discretions in the sand of those whom had paid their debt to society and to carve, we forgive you in the stone?

In the service of Jesus, Chaplain Peter

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