Reflecting on Stone….

The days are getting shorter and the shadows are getting longer. The leaves are beginning to turn, and to fall. Soon our yard will be carpeted with leaves. So I was drawn to this amazing photo of a stone church by my friend Carole. I’m not sure if the leaves are turning, or if the sun is creating the orange tint at the top of the tree line. The vines are far past their prime, yet still cling to the stones. At first glance, this church seems to have lost its vitality. The roof is full of rust, the paint is chipped and fading. Yet in the windows, we still can see a reflection of abundant life. While people may have walked away, God abides in this holy place. My grandmother would say this place is ‘prayed up’, that the prayers of so many have soaked into the ground and even permeated the stones. Where others would see a disused building, she would see the prayers of many who have gone before us, and remain faithful, if not in this life then in the next. We pray to the Infinite and All Powerful, to a God that is, and was, and always will be. Even when we feel lost, when we feel as if our lives are simply drifting along, we remain firmly in the palm of God’s hand, enfolded in steadfast love, without beginning or end. Take time today to shake off the rust in your life, to let go of the withered vines, to cling fast to the stones that abide. Let prayer soak through you, allowing the Author of Creation to show you the path ahead. Trust that new life lies beneath the dreariness of this world, and claim the promise of resurrection life. Start here and now, with one step at a time, trusting that each day is an invitation to begin again. And always remember, we are far from alone, for we have God to lean on, full of strength and love. Text by Connie Chintall ©2012, Photo by Carole Buckwalter ©2011, used with her permission. To see more of Carole’s work, go to


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mark lloyd richardson
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 11:06:06

    I love your grandmother’s phrase, “prayed up.” Prayers permeate a space, as you say, and give us hope to live in God’s infinite care.


    • seekthesacred
      Sep 07, 2012 @ 13:10:54

      We had a similar experience in England at Fountains Abbey. On our first trip there, we were part of a celebration of 2000 years of Christianity, led by Tony Keddy, who later became my spiritual director. The building may crumble, but the prayer remains.


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