35 Rocks

I counted them this morning: 35 rocks. They were nestled inside the rotted-out trunk of an old oak tree. But I temporarily took them out to count them and clear some of the dust and debris. So that’s how I know that there are 35 rocks. And the 35 rocks are how I know that I’ve completed this prayer walk 35 times since August.

It’s been such a strange year for Kent State University. We were able to start out with small-scale, outdoor gatherings up to 40 people. But as case counts on campus started to rise, so did restrictions. For awhile we had to move almost everything off-campus… except for prayer.

The week before students arrived on campus, our Staff team met every morning for prayer in the grove of trees between Manchester and Centennial Fields. We each took a section of campus and made a point to walk around that area and pray. Kind of like Joshua and the Israelites preparing to enter the Promised Land. My section of campus was the Centennial Courts residence halls. So I prayer-walked the 1.25 miles every day for seven days. And I marked each day’s prayer-walk with another stone in the stump. Kind of like Joshua and the Israelites memorializing their entrance into the Promised Land.

As the school year has gone on, I’ve just kept returning to the same section of campus for prayer. Once a week for almost every week since then. Some weeks were crazy-cold and snowy. Other weeks (like this one) were mild and sunny. But it’s been so good to have a way to stay connected to campus — both physically and spiritually.

I’m praying that next year will be more normal. But no matter what, I’m glad that we get to trust God in the process.

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