The first step in any transformation is to name that which needs to be released. When we name the things that bind us – whether past experiences or future expectation; fears, or wishes, or frustrations, or losses – we loosen their grip on us.
When we can acknowledge the ways in which we have been locked into one way of being, we can begin to imagine something different for ourselves. We can prepare our hearts to welcome God’s revelation of a way forward that does not simply replicate existing patterns or assumptions.
So, I invite you to take your stone in your dominant hand and raise it to your lips.
Take a few moments to let your heart speak to you of what you want to release.
It could be a damaging pattern of thought or behavior that is hurting you or people around you;
It could be a past experience of loss, or trauma, or pain, from which you want freedom;
It could be an unfulfilled desire for something that stops you from finding joy and peace in this moment;
It could be something done to you that you can’t let go of, or something you have done for which you need forgiveness;
It can be anything that is acting as a confining chain on your life, holding you back from embracing God’s holy disruption.
As quietly as you like, whisper to the stone. Tell it what you want to release.
Once the stone holds the words that name your need for release, it can aid you in your preparation for God’s Holy Disruption.
Hold your hand with the stone in front of you, and remember the words that you whispered to your stone.
Grip hard to the stone, letting your hand express the strength with which you have held onto things that do not serve you, or the strength with which you have felt bound.
Hold tightly long enough to feel the intensity build. Let your body experience your longing for release.
Then, softly open your hand. Let the tension in your fingers and arm dissipate. Feel the release of your straining, and with it let your mind and heart release whatever you spoke to your stone.
You do not need to hold onto it anymore. You can let go.
Finally, as a reminder that you have help in the practice of release, I invite you – in your own time – to make your way to the font.
In our baptism, God puts to death our old life and raises us to new life in Christ. The sins and the powers that controlled us were drowned in the baptismal waters, and we were freed for the life of truth and love.
The waters are poured over us three times – in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Uniting us with the fullness of God’s presence and love in our lives. Claiming us as beloved and whole.
And so, in remembrance and celebration of that freedom and wholeness, we bring our stones to the font… lowering them into the water three times to remember that we do not rely on our strength alone to release that which binds us – God is with us in the work.
And raising the stone back out of the water three times, a symbol of our assurance that new life is possible.
Once you have dipped your stone in the font you may leave it on the altar rail and walk away. Whatever has been binding you, you do not have to carry it with you anymore.
Trusting in the One who calls us to release all our cares and to speak our needs in prayer, we leave our stones by the font and join in prayer.