“…So that this may be a sign among you.
When your children ask in time to come,
‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 

then you shall tell them …”  Joshua 4:6

I love stones. And I like cairns, those ancient piles of stones that often mark a boundary between memory and hope.

Here twelve stones are drawn from the river.
The wilderness is behind the People of God.
They are forward-facing into the land of milk and honey.

Twelve are the tribes so numbered in the wilderness.
The river is a threshold.
It harkens back to the crossing of the Red Sea at their beginning.
The stones, lifted from the river, a reminder of the Commandments
written on stone, and carried in the heart.

Joshua is the new Moses. He is the one who leads the People of God out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land.

The stones, dripping with river water, are piled on the far side.
They are a memorial forever.
They will cause the children to ask: What do these stones mean?

And what will the answer be?

Today an almost-ten-year old girl read me a storybook.
It’s called I am Not a Number.*
“I cried,” my sensitive reader warned
And read again the story about a girl in a Residential School.

The Book of Joshua is the story of war, the taking of land, the conquest of people.

Perhaps
the stones from the river are
still dripping with tears.

*I am Not a Number
Written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer
Illustrated by Gillian Newland.

                                             “Blogging one verse from every book of the bible in 2018.”

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