Rocks found around the church.
Julie Hart’s weekly devotionals are now available via the website and on our app. They are published on Thursdays and have a new name, “From the Hart”.
To read Julie’s devotionals on our app, please search “Desert Spring Church” in your app store, text “app” to 702-766-6641, or use this link: https://a3a.me/desertspringunitedmethodistchurch
“From the Hart” Devotional for Sept. 28, 2023
“An Open Letter to L.W.”
by Julie Hart, Director of Connectional Ministries
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
This devotional is an open letter to you because, for the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out who you are. But recently you started showing up everywhere. And by you, I mean rocks, and by everywhere, I mean all over the church. Others have noticed it too. Brightly painted rocks with messages of hope, love, joy, and Jesus on benches, counters, pews, and even in the rocks, all with the initials L.W. on the backs.
At first it was other staff members who began to talk about it, trying to figure out who was behind these treasures. It just so happens that we have a couple of staff with the initials L.W., so we those were our first guesses. We wondered if you were a child, or an adult. If you were working as a team, or on your own. When you hid them. What gave you the idea to start making them.
Pretty soon we were sending pictures of them and texting each other “have you seen this one yet?”, or “look how pretty this one is.” You had us looking around and paying attention. You would have thought that we were 5-year-olds on Easter morning hunting for eggs.
Then others started noticing as well. Children would ask if they could keep them, adults would ask if they could re-hide them. People started wondering about the rules for these rocks. When asked, I often answered that I didn’t think there were any rules, that they were just given freely by someone who probably didn’t even know them. Hmmmm..that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Gifts given freely, with no expectation of reciprocation.
You’ll never guess what your anonymous acts of kindness did! They made others want to do the same thing. They made others want to do kind things like making rocks of encouragement to spread around, baking cookies to leave at the neighbor’s door, or writing anonymous notes of encouragement to co-workers. In fact, I am told that the very week this devotional comes out, the youth will have a surprise for us inspired by you. Your little rocks are already making ripples, just like Pastor David preached on a few weeks ago. Ripples that I can see moving beyond our campus, into our neighborhood, out in the community, and throughout the whole land.
So, I want to thank you on behalf of all of us here at Desert Spring, and those who come onto our campus. You have made us smile, brought us joy, and blessed us with good things to think about, reminding us that Jesus is our anchor, love never fails, and to always keep the faith. Reminders that often come at just the right moments on just the right days. The time you put into this expression of agape love is a gift that we are blessed to be able to receive. So, thank you.
P.S. A day or so after writing this devotional, before I had submitted it, you’ll never guess what happened. Well, you will, because you know… I ran into you and instantly I knew. You confirmed my suspicions that you were the mystery rock painter and suddenly it all made so much sense. But don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. Now when I see your beautifully painted rocks laying around, I will smile even bigger knowing they are from you.