I AM STONE
When I was going through my creative writing files on my computer, I found this story. I had forgotten it. As I read it, I was impressed by what I had managed to captured. I have made some slight revisions and wish to share it as my Easter gift to my friends.
I Am Stone
I am stone. I am strong and firm and unmoveable. I have purpose in life.
A man named Joseph of Arimathaea —an important man, a rich man—prepared a tomb for himself. It was a fine tomb carved from rock. This tomb was built in a beautiful garden near Jerusalem. It was a tomb worthy of such an important man. And I, I was chosen to close the door of the tomb, chosen to keep out robbers and keep the body of Joseph safe after he died.
I am strong. It took 3 laborers to move me from the hillside and into position by the entrance to the tomb. After many, many cycles of waiting, the day came when a funeral possession came bringing a body to the tomb. My time had come. I would now fulfill my purpose. But wait! The body they carried was not Joseph for he was one of the mourners!
I listened to their cries. I listened to their words. This man had been crucified. “Ah,” I thought. “A criminal then. This man was a criminal. But why bury him here? This is Joseph’s tomb.” But even as I thought ‘criminal,’ it did not seem right to describe this man as a criminal. Somehow, I felt this man was something more.
The body was laid within the tomb. It took 3 men to roll me in front of the entrance. Three strong men. For a time, I was alone, doing my duty, protecting the tomb. That was my responsibility, my function.
Soldiers came. And as they guarded the tomb, I heard them talk. They had been sent, they said, to guard the tomb. It was feared that his friends would steal the body and claim he was resurrected.
Impossible, I thought. I am stone. I have survived through eons of time. Once a man is dead, he stays dead. Earth holds his bones forever. No man can take those bones and reconstruct himself. This was my thinking. The guards, I thought, were not needed. Was I not here in my appointed place, guarding this tomb? I stood as a barrier between this man Jesus and the world outside.
In the darkness within the tomb, there came a light that grew ever brighter. It was not yet morning. Daylight had not crept into the garden. Nevertheless, there was a light inside the tomb. A personage of light stood there, inside the tomb, beside the body. This personage, this angel, reached out his hand and touched me. I felt myself become lighter, less dense. He pushed on me and I rolled away from the entrance. I was astounded. The guards were astounded. They cried out and fled. Light shone forth from the open tomb and Jesus walked forth.
I am stone. I am strong and firm and unmoveable. I have purpose in life. I lay here in the garden. I connect earth and sky. I exist forever and I know what I know. He is not here. He is risen.