When faced with the woman accused of adultery, Jesus invited those without sin to cast the first stone. One-by-one, all those gathered dropped their stones.
Are we holding stones? — Not to cast at others, but to chuck at ourselves for the false burdens we’ve dragged behind us all our lives. Self-doubt. Fear. Feeling unloved. These are the stones of self-reproach we’ve carried far too long.
It starts with small things. An unkind word someone hurls at us, and we pick up the stone as if it were true. The jab that disguises itself as fun. But after being repeated enough, we silently clutch the criticism and our hearts become protective, rock-hardened, and cold.
Our families can also be the ones passing us stones. The teasing that never ends. The jealous mocking about one of our talents. Before we realize it, we’ve invented an image of ourselves that God never intended—an image he would call nonsense if we listened to his truth.
It’s time to drop the false burdens we’ve carried all these years. Time to name them, write them on pieces of paper, and put them in clay prayer-pots where they can no longer hurt us, where God can lift the shame and guilt. And once we’ve dropped these stones, our hands are freed to pick up the gold nuggets of self-compassion, forgiveness, and love.
What burdens have you carried? Which ones belong to you, and which are shaped and molded from the clay of untruths?
Regardless of where they come from, drop those stones. Lighten the weight and pressure on your life.
Put instead the weightless pebbles of inner freedom and wisdom into your pockets. Let them become your comrades. Then, when you’ve dropped your stones, you can take another’s hands into yours, invite them to drop theirs, and live in the truth of humble self-respect.
—brian j plachta
Happy Memorial Day!!!!