Although we are spiritual beings, we are also sensory creatures, taking in details of the world through our eyes, our ears, our noses, tongues and fingertips. So, at a recent spiritual writing workshop, we took two objects used in the Bible in symbolic ways and explored them in sensory ways. These objects were water and rocks.
I invite you to fill a clear bowl with water and place by it some rocks, perhaps jagged and bumpy or smooth and shiny. Then, read the different ways that rocks and water are used symbolically in the Bible. After mediating on those verses, pick up a rock. What does it feel like? Look like? When you’re ready, put the rock into the bowl of water. What did the water feel like beneath your fingertips? How did the water ripple?
What did that experience symbolize for you? Were you giving up a burden to God? Planting a seed? Or something else entirely? Start freewriting and see where the experience takes you.
Here are the verses to consider:
Rocks as Biblical Symbols
Rocks symbolize God:
2 Samuel 22:47 New King James Version (NKJV)
The LORD lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let God be exalted,
the Rock of my salvation!
Rocks symbolize a place of refuge:
Isaiah 32:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
A man will be as a hiding place from the wind,
and a cover from the tempest,
as rivers of water in a dry place,
as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Rocks symbolize strength:
Psalm 31:2-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
be to me a rock of strength,
a stronghold to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
for Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
Rocks are used as symbols in conjunction with water (with rocks being a barrier to life-sustaining water):
Psalm 78:15-16 New International Version (NIV)
He split the rocks in the wilderness
and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
he brought streams out of a rocky crag
and made water flow down like rivers.
Rocks are heavy and laying them down can symbolize this concept:
Matthew 11:28 International Standard Version (ISV)
Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest.
Water as Biblical Symbolism
Water symbolizes troubled times
Psalm 32:6 New International Version
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.
Water symbolizes salvation and eternal life
Revelation 21:6 King James Version (KJV)
And he said unto me, “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”
John 4:10-14 NASB
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Water symbolizes spiritual cleansing
Ezekiel 36:25 New International Version
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
Water symbolizes the Holy Spirit
John 7:37-39 New International Version
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Join our spiritual writing group!
If you are close enough to NE Ohio, then join us on the second Monday of each month, September through May, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Heritage Presbyterian Church on the corner of Rt. 58 and Rt. 2 in Amherst. There is no charge, although a donation of food to our food bank is always appreciated. Or, come to the Northeast Christian Writers Conference on Saturday, April 11, 2015. There is a nominal fee of $20 for the all-day conference and it includes breakfast and lunch.
If you’re too far away to join us, but would like guidance in starting your own spiritual writing group, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be glad to help. No charge. I love to watch this type of ministry grow and flourish.
If you’d like ongoing mentoring, or are looking for a Christian ghostwriter or editor, let’s talk.