A few weeks ago, my five-year-old son asked, “Mom, what’s your pebble?”
“Huh?” I asked back.
“Your PEB-BLE,” he said. “You know, like how my left foot is smaller than my other one…”
I resisted the “huh?” again, even though I had no idea what he was talking about—pebbles or foot size (his feet are the same size, essentially).
So I tried a more interested approach: “Tell me more about what you mean.” And he went on to tell me about a speaker they had had in chapel that day (he goes to a Christian school) who talked about his “pebble,” which was that he had one leg “WAAAAAY” shorter than the other and how that pebble made him talk to God a lot.
Ah, the “thorn in his flesh.” Got it. While I still didn’t understand how the pebble fit in (though I imagined “The Princess and the Pea” somehow), I gathered that their chapel had been about how God uses our weaknesses for his glory. And that by knowing each others’ weaknesses—and how we’ve triumphed despite them—we can understand God’s power. So the speaker had encouraged the kids to get to share their “pebbles” to share in God’s glory.
I thought this was so lovely—and counter-cultural. So my son and I spent some time talking about our pebbles (for the sake of my son’s short attention span, I chose one of many—my temper!). And we got to know one another —and God—a little better (although, unfortunately, he is well aquainted with this particular pebble).
So that’s my little story, but I do wonder what it would look like if “What’s your pebble?” became as regular a question as “How’s your day?” And how much better off we’d be if we could get to know each other better through our weaknesses–and through God’s strength.