The Little Missouri River wound through the Ouachita Mountains where my granddaddy took my brothers and me camping when we were kids. It wasn’t a big river by any stretch of the imagination. The widest spot I remember was near a camp ground called Albert Pike. There the river was maybe 150 feet wide. What the river lacked in size it made up for in beauty. I could elaborate extensively about the splendor of the Little Missouri but that has little to do with my story.
The Little Missouri River wasn’t very deep either. There were quite a few places, where, to cross the river you drove over a low water crossing. Granddaddy called these car washes. If you drove across fast enough your car would get quite a washing. About a mile or so passed Albert Pike, down a narrow, winding dirt road was a particularly wide car wash. This one was large enough to work as a dam and created an ideal spot for fishing or swimming…. or bathing as Granddaddy often did.
This car wash was one of my favorite places to visit for several years. One year someone had gone out into the middle of the river, where the water was three or four feet deep, and stacked stones in a beautiful pattern… it was like they had created river art. This “sculpture” was maybe four or five feet in diameter and was simply stacked rocks. It couldn’t have been more beautiful… or fascinating. For several years, it seemed, the stones were there at the car wash. They would be in different places¸ different patterns and sizes but it seemed to be the same person creating them. My brothers and I were so intrigued. I still wonder today if they had special meaning or if someone just felt a need to create.
In the Bible, the Old Testament, often after some magnificent work by God, He would instruct His people, Israel, to stack stones near the place where God wrought His great work. He said the stones would be for a memorial and a testimony. It was so Israel wouldn’t forget and so others could learn what God had done there.
Today God doesn’t ask His people to build stone memorials. Radically changed lives are the only memorial and testimony He requires.