Tonight at youth, we all chose a stone that we felt represented us.


My stone from a distance looked like it is smooth. At a closer look, you’re able to see the small indented imperfections that don’t take away from the big picture, but are still a part of the current reality.  These are the things in my past that have made me who I am, the things that have left scars within me — inside and out.  These are the stories, good and bad, who make me who I am.  Running my fingers over the rock, I felt the small imperfections on what is mostly a smooth rock — though mostly unnoticeable, it is possible to feel my physical scars, and it is possible to notice them if you take a close enough look — a physical reminder of what I have been through.

The stone is dark.  A darkness, a reminder of the stories behind me, still follow behind me — a shadow. These stories are a big part of WHY I am who I am today, and as much as I hate some of the things I have done, some of the places I have been inside, they are why I am here as I am right now. And I cannot change that, and I cannot forget that.  There is not beauty in light until there is that time of fear, aloneness and solidarity in the dark.

On the right side, there is a patch of lighter brown. This represents the light shining through the darkness.  This light changes dependent on the situation — sometimes, this light is the physical sunshine. Sometimes it is simply what is coming out of me from my own perspective.  Most importantly, this light spot is Jesus . . . changing the darkness into light.  This light spot is the question being created . . . why? . . . This light spot is proof that joy has come, that joy WILL come, and that I am HERE . . . and I cannot let this light get away.  The light spot is the here and now.  The light spot is why I do everything I do.  The light is HOPE.

The dark is the story behind me, the story the sun has set on.  The light spot is why I am who I am . . . and the story that is still to come.

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