When the Rocks Cry Out


Does anybody remember the “pet rock”? It came in a gift box, sometimes with straw for the rock to “sleep” on. They hit the market in 1975, lasted for 6 months and 1.5 million of them were  sold. It was in the ridiculous waste of money category. It just sat there and did nothing.

Earlier this week a friend dropped by with her two- year-old granddaughter and a frozen chicken pot-pie. She asked to use my micro to heat up a meal for the child, because the electricity was off at her house.

If you have raised a two-year old, you know they are very curious. My friend’s granddaughter is no exception – pick this up, touch that, throw that down to see if it bounces. You know the routine. And my house is definitely not “child-proof.”  This cute little curmudgeon happened to pick up a rock that rested on an antique green chest, located under my dining room window. No, she didn’t throw the rock at the window. She responded to my authoritative command and brought the rock to me. It’s not a “pet rock” – just something I use for a paper weight.

As I retrieved the rock from her tiny hands, I recalled something from my Scripture reading of the last week. It had to do with a special rock.

In the Old Testament book of Joshua there is an interesting passage in chapter 24. Joshua had just addressed the people of Israel – reminding them of their past and casting a vision for their future. He warned them of what would happen if they stopped following God and started following other “gods” in the land they had newly conquered. In response, the people all said, “We will serve the Lord!” Then came the interesting part about the rock.

Joshua 24:26-27  “On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord. “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God…”  ESV

This passage calls to mind something in the New Testament.  When Jesus was entering Jerusalem on his triumphal (and final) visit to that city, he had an interesting exchange with some Pharisees:

Luke 19:37-40  “ . . the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these [people] were silent, the very stones would cry out.’ ” ESV

There is another passage that deals with talking stones:

“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house . . . You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many people: you have forfeited your life. For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond.” Habakkuk 2:9-11

It seems from the Scriptures that what we think of as inanimate objects, such as rocks, not only could speak in a given situation, but also hear what is being said.

You’re probably thinking right about now that I am a bit kooky, or reading into Scripture. You may feel that the quoted Scriptures are metaphorical language which I’m taking too literally. I don’t think so – and I’ll tell you why.

Not far from where General George Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware exists a strange place. Within a forest sits an open field that is filled with rocks – no vegetation. The property of the rocks is what makes the location peculiar. It seems that when the rocks are struck lightly, they ring like bells. Because stones don’t usually ring – this is a mystery to science. These rocks are composed of the same type of materials that make up most of the crust of the earth. In this particular field, though all the rocks are made of the same materials, only 1/3 of them ring.

In 1965 a geologist names Richard Faas from Lafayette College in Easton, PA, took some of the rocks to his lab for testing. He found that when the rocks were stuck they created a series of tones at frequencies lower than the human ear can hear. He concluded that when the various tones of the rocks interact with each other, there is a sound high-pitched enough to be audible to the human ear. But, the specific physical mechanism in the rocks that rendered them able to make sounds could not be discovered. (Information from site of “The Unmuseum”)

Many years ago, I had an experience with sounds recorded on vinyl that amazed me:  I was playing an LP on my turntable when the phone rang in another room. I lifted the needle arm off the album to answer the phone. I forgot to turn off the record player, so the vinyl continued to spin on the turntable.

I later returned to the room and sat down to read. I heard music playing very faintly in the corner where the stereo player sat on a table. When I approached the record player, I noticed that a very pointy leaf-tip from a plant sitting on the same table was resting on the spinning record. It was releasing the sound of the music from the vinyl. It seemed that the sound was coming through the plant itself, for the leaf needle had no connection to the speakers.

We live in a strange and wonderful world, created by a mysterious and awesome God.

If sound can be captured in vinyl, on CD, DVD, and computer chips, carried on air waves, and released through the leaf of a plant, then surely it can be captured in the walls around us, in the rocks of the hills and in the trees of the forest.

I am amazed at God’s creation – surely as Isaiah 6:3 says of God the Creator, “. . .the whole earth is full of His glory!”

One day our Savior Jesus the Christ will return to earth. And in that day we’ll hear real “rock music”.

“. . . you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace;  the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12 (NRSV)

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.” Ps. 96:12-13 (NRSV)

Are you as amazed as I am about the world of God’s creation? Are you ready for the day when all creation will welcome our Savior’s return? Will you also welcome Him, the “rock of your salvation”?

©2012, Marcy Alves

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About Marcy

I love my Father-God. Together we are walking through a season of my life where I am standing with him against cancer. He is my strength and trust. As one of his daughters, my passion is to share his love with others in practical, everyday illustrations and insights.

Posted on April 30, 2012, in Christian Growth, God Encounters, Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. i dont rember the rogk becauce wher i was born but your message isreally good the tuttle

  2. This is very good, Marcy. I love this stuff. The Lord really did say the rocks would praise Him.

    There is so much more to the natural world than we know. Imagine a plant playing a song…

    God is showing us all something extraordinary through your post. Thanks.

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