I’m playing with the stones again.
I’m fascinated with a small white one.
Polished edges, satin slick.
But with a small crack and a teeny gouge on the underside.
Or maybe it’s the top. Who really knows with a stone?
I roll the stone in one palm and then the other. Feel how my thumb and fingers fit into the smooth curves.
I take it with me outside and hold it up to sun, compare it to snow sparkle.
I think of the Revelation stones.
Like amethysts and sapphires and emeralds and rubies.
But then there’s a white stone.
Plain ole. Plain ole.
Or is it?
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. ~Revelation 2:17
Frankly, I’d prefer a deep green emerald or a stunning blue sapphire.
Thank you very much.
Or would I?
I look it up and find the Greek word for stone here is psephos, and it’s only used twice in the New Testament. Here and Acts 26:10 where it’s translated as “vote.”
And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. ~Paul in Acts 26:10
These small, worn pebbles apparently had several uses.
They were used in elections. Voters were given white stones and black stones. A white stone was a vote of acceptance, and a black stone was a vote of rejection.
In courts of justice, a black stone meant a vote for condemnation, for death. A white stone meant a vote for acquittal, for life.
A white stone might have served as a ticket for admission to some event, like a special banquet.
The winner of an athletic event might receive a white stone–perhaps even with the name of the event or the victor inscribed on it.
And this white Revelation stone? It’s not just white. It’s whiter than pure snow. Whiter than I can bleach my white robe.
It shimmers and shines. Dazzles the eye with a brilliance like Jesus’ clothes at His transfiguration.
As I play with the stone, I ponder this name, the name that only I will know.
What will it be? Perhaps a pet name, an endearing name, an intimate name that He calls nobody else? Something that signifies our special relationship?
Will He place the stone on a diamond-studded chain around my neck where I can reach up and touch it at every thought of Him? Will I run giddy crazy into His arms when I see Him? Will He lean close and whisper my name, my new name?
I shut my eyes against the sun, against the snow, against the world and hold the stone between between both hands and intertwine my fingers, feel the cool. I try to imagine the banquet hall, the marriage supper, walking hand in hand along the water’s edge, my Bridegroom and me.
I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine.
And He’s given me a stone that proclaims victory and freedom, acceptance and love, entrance and righteousness, life and everlasting joy.
So I’m thinking, yes. I’d rather have a white stone more than the largest and brightest gemstone in heaven.
Thank you very much.
In community today with Laura, L.L., and Michelle.
This is one of my all time favorite scriptures. My son, when he was a wee one, had several complaints against himself. One was the red hair of course. Another, the freckles. But he really really did not like his name: Teddy. Short for Theodore. Poor guys was named after his grandpa. One day I shared this scripture with him and his reaction was priceless. He doesn’t complain about his name anymore :).
I love your white stone! Beautiful.
Sweet. I always wished my name was something like Elizabeth or Grace or . . . I’m not sure how my parents settled on Sandra. Except I do know I was almost Sheryl until their close friends named their daughter that.
I have to give the stone back to Gracee and share the scripture with her. I’m going to get my very own. 🙂
Jay Cookingham says
I love how the Father speaks to you!
L.L. Barkat says
I love the idea of a white stone as a ticket to an event! 🙂 I have five white stones on my bed stand right now. Where shall I go? 🙂
I don’t know, but I think you should take me with you.
Stevan Lasorella says
Great post. I love discovering deeper meanings. When we study the history and customs of Israel and the world back then it can reveal in scripture a deeper meaning.
Thank you, Stevan. Scripture really does become even more alive when we can understand it the way the early readers did.
Tracey Soko says
As a girl I never liked my name, although I don’t have a problem with it now, I can’t wait to see the name on my stone – it will be the prefect name for me as He knows me best.
I wonder if any of us really like our names–at least at some point in our lives. And you are right. The One Who knows us best–even with all our flaws–loves us best.
S. Etole says
this … this is good news
We need some good news these days.
Michelle DeRusha says
A wonderful post, Sandy! I loved learning about the uses for stones in ancient times — the white and black ones for casting votes. I never knew that!
And I was not familiar with that Revelation passage either. I think I’ve only read Revelation once — I’m a little intimidated by it. But that passage makes me want to read it again, deeply and closely!
Thanks for linking up this week!
Revelation was the first book I studied inductively with Kay Arthur–for nine months. She took us all the way back to Genesis and all over the Bible. I learned so much!
Interesting–thanks for sharing this. Gave me something to ponder and investigate.
Janis@Open My Ears Lord says
Such a deep post full of much history and significance. Who would have thought that a plain ole white rock could be so important? It has so much more value now in my eyes. I enjoyed learning about how the white stone was used–and what else would be the ticket into heaven but something pure white?
Enjoyed your post. And really have appreciated my name since I learned its meaning.
Janis–God is gracious. I love that!
Sandra–Defender or helper of mankind.
Anne Lang Bundy says
Love your study!
A white stone meant a vote for acquittal, for life.
That would be enough. But a new name as well? He really is just TOO good!
imperfect prose says
i love you, white stone and all.
And I love you back, Emily!