How often do we sing songs without even considering the words? “Here I raise my Ebenezer” are words from Come Thou Fount. I had sung the hymn for many years before I even questioned what an Ebenezer was. I didn’t know what I was raising. Finally I researched it and found that it was a rock of remembrance. Literally it means “The Lord has helped us this far.” (I Samuel 7:12).
Building on that thought, I had participants of a prayer retreat I was leading to go out and find a stone. After reading that scripture, I asked the ladies to tell of a time God had helped them through a rough spot. They were to keep that rock as a remembrance of that time. I later did that with the young adult couples Sunday school class I taught. Many of them are middle-aged now, and some tell me they still have their stone of remembrance on their dresser or in some other prominent place.
After my mom and dad retired and moved from the store to which their house was attached, they built their house out of the frame of an old chicken house. Daddy wanted a big hearth rock for the fireplace they added. He found one on a creek bed close by. My boys helped him bring it to the house by sitting on the front of the tractor with which he pulled the huge rock on a home-made slide. Last year, we had to have the house taken down because it was dilapidated. Our oldest son had bought the property and said the only thing he wanted from it was the hearth rock. He had memories attached to that rock. 1. He remembered helping his grandfather bring the rock to the house. 2. When any of the grandchildren misbehaved there, they had to sit on the hearth rock to think about what they had done.
One day my niece Lee (about three at the time) called her mom a dumb-dumb. Her mom told her to sit on the rock to think about what she had done wrong. I walked by to hear Lee mutter under her breath, “She is a dumb-dumb, I know she’s a dumb-dumb.” I’m not sure she was very repentant at the time.
Since my son lives in Florida, I asked him what he wanted done with the rock and the ones from the chimney we also saved. “Oh, I want them at your house,” he answered. We live across the road from where my parents lived. Now, those rocks remain in an unsightly pile in our front yard. We have waited a year for the demolition man to fulfill his promise to move them to the back for a rock garden. That’s okay though because those rocks ARE rocks of remembrance for me – remembrance of fun family times together at my parents’ home – a home where Christ was the solid foundation rock.