Third Place Award presented to Lynette Chambers, on left, during the Ga. Marble Festival 2011
Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land…..a shelter in a time of storm.
When we were children, my sisters and I used to sing this song, not truly realizing what the meaning was. As I have grown older, and perhaps wiser, I have come to treasure the Rock that is my salvation, the Cornerstone that is my foundation, and the Strong Tower that is my hiding place!
I remember as a child hearing about the ROCK of Gibraltar which is found to the South of Spain and sits at the joining of the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient times, it was thought that to pass beyond it was to sail to certain destruction over a bottomless waterfall at the edge of the world. Yes, it is truly an amazing rock!
And then we find the famous Plymouth ROCK which sits in quiet grandeur on the waterfront in downtown Plymouth, MA. While it is merely a “rock” this incredible stone has had many adventures—or misadventures as the case may be. It has been associated as a symbol of the forefathers of our great nation, has been used by an illustrious insurance group as their icon; has been chipped at, stared at, and fondled, by any number of individuals for generations. What many people don’t know is that this boulder had a major flaw which resulted in it breaking in two when being transported from its original location. Even so, it has stood the test of time!
Alcatraz - often called The Rock is an amazing island. I was there a few years back and toured the now empty facility.
Even today, Alcatraz is known as one of the most legendary prisons in the world. Built upon an island of stone, off the San Francisco Bay, it is tragically beautiful in its lonely solitude.
Recently my husband and I were privileged to visit the Teotihuacan Pyramids just outside Mexico City. They were built over 2,000 years ago of layer upon layer of rock that has been laid in perfect proportion to form several large pyramids, one to honor the sun, one honors the moon, and several others. It was awe inspiring to climb those stairs and go up one level after another, realizing that long after we are gone these huge formations of rock will still be standing.
And then, that brings us back to the Rock of Ages! All of the other rocks that I have seen pale in comparison to the rocks on which my hope is founded!
Nothing, simply nothing, compares to THE ROCK which is Jesus Christ!
Second Place Winner
BY: BRONWYN RUMERY
[Bronwyn Rumery, left, receives the second place award at the Ga. Marble Festival]
Surrounded by mountain laurel and hidden beneath layers of Kudzu vine.
You will discover Jasper Hollow, an enchanted, magical marble mine.
You will be greeted by a centaur, by the way his name is Tate.
He will gladly serve you tea and cookies upon a silver granite plate.
Follow a wood nymph name Nelson, through a labyrinth paved with amber stone.
Take a rest from your adventure, to enjoy an Irish scone.
Select some pebbles from a Talking rock, can you hear their fascinating sound.
Don’t be surprised if you are stopped by a sprite, to ask what you have found.
Chase a leprechaun if you dare down a Marble Hill slide.
Don’t forget to look under four leaf clovers, for that’s where they love to hide.
Play hopscotch with a pixie. Jump rope with a silly gnome.
Ride like the wind on a unicorn. Play checkers at a dragon’s home.
When the sun sets over Jasper Hollow, and you really don’t want to leave.
Don’t be sad my child, to return all you need to do, is BELIEVE.
SIMPLY A ROCK
CHRISTIE BEIRING EAGLESON
[Christie Beiring Eagleson, left, with the first place award at the Ga. Marble Festival.]
The all too familiar clanking from the laundry room sends me running to rescue my old machine, ragged from washing clothes for a family of six for far too many years. As the mom of four boys I instinctively know what I am looking for and blindly dig around in the cold, dirty wetness until I successfully feel it in my hand.
I resist the temptation to slam it into the nearby trash can. Instead, I fall backwards and lean against the wall, one hand pinching the bridge of my nose in an attempt to squelch the headache that builds while the other hand clenches the hard, smooth stone. What is it about a rock that makes every small child want to own as many as possible? Why do they find their way into the wash, under my feet as I walk down the darkened night hall, or in any place I attempt to rest for just a moment? Why must they leave their markings on my walls and floors as a reminder of their power over my children? I ponder the questions as I wipe the sweat from my brow. What I don’t need right now is one more thing to fix. One more thing to do. One more thing to fret about. One more headache.
I open my eyes and examine the unique swirls of black and brown lines running through its body as if created carefully by an artist’s hand. I look more closely. I wonder how far the rock has come, buffed to a shine after tumbling about for years in tumultuous waters perhaps. My heart swells as I consider all the great creatures that may have walked over this stone and the historical environments that it may have been a part of. I ponder the possibility that it contains minute pieces of important things I’ve only read about in books. I gaze at it knowing it took many different bits and pieces along with just the right circumstances to form. It must have endured season after season of heat, cold, rain, drought and storms. I am amazed at how, under pressure, it became more solid and strong. It survived. It was not crushed into oblivion.
A new appreciation is born as I consider the lifetimes this stone spanned and how it’s unknown but certainly amazing history was paramount to it becoming what it is today. And here it sits on the fat of my palm, its existence seemingly simple, undemanding and effortless.
I rub my thumb over the polished surface and press its coolness to my lips. Children are wise. The heartaches, losses, trials, obstacles, responsibilities and challenges inundating this season of my life are put into a new light. I pocket my son’s treasure and hope that I too might endure and become as strong, beautiful and beloved as this simple rock.