Years back I created a cairn, a man-made stack of rocks. Cairns have long been used to mark trails, provide direction, and serve as a map. Modern cairns have become more of an art form rather than trail guides.
I created my cairn to remind me of places in my life where God changed the course I was on. Each rock was chosen carefully from places I visited, selected because of shape, color or inspiration. One by one, the stack grew and ultimately became a map of the season I was in at the time.
I haven’t traveled much lately. The pandemic, then cancer, put the brakes on my travel jaunts, so collecting actual stones hasn’t been possible. I realized though, that I could create a cancer cairn artistically on paper. I wouldn’t have to fight trying to balance the rocks, glue, or finding the perfect shapes. It is still a work-in-progress, as I sift through the past year and a half.
God reorganized my life when cancer entered, and the months that followed could never have been planned or orchestrated by me. His hand was on me throughout all my treatments. Each of the treatment rocks on my cairn point to a new direction.
One rock depicts the medical team God provided, and it reminds me that they were personally selected by God to minister to me. A round rock represents my family who encircled me with love and prayer. Other various shaped rocks remind me of dark days, bright ones, friends, pain, joy, and much more.
My cairn will have 12 stones of remembrance, based on Joshua 4:2-3, when God commanded Joshua to choose 12 men who would each choose 12 stones to remember the miraculous River crossing. They were to tell future generations about God rescuing them. To the Israelites the pile of rocks was a reminder of how God acts on behalf of His people. To everyone else they were simply a pile of rocks.
My cairn reminds me of how God changed the direction of my life, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s a reminder of His love for me.