The Rock of Confession

The Cascade vegetation faded from lodge pole pine into fuzzy Douglas fir, dazzling us with it’s mysterious beauty! So pristine was this forest that one would hardly guess that there was a human touch on the land but for the asphalt winding ahead of us and the occasional signage reminding us that we were driving the Over the River and Through the Woods Byway.

We had been driving for about an hour when we rounded a sharp curve and there abutting the highway was a rock that was about twenty feet high and maybe fifteen feet wide. It was adorned in Technicolor graffiti. The sight was so contradictory to it’s surroundings that I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I wondered what kind of events had brought the writers all the way out into the wilderness to emblazen their comments on this rock for all to see.

Was it joyful celebration or love? JD + RM, Class of 07!…

Was it a need to confess? I Love David…

Was it depression? This is the End…

Or were they seeking out connection? For a good time call Sadie…

It seems that it was all of this and more. Each contributor had come out to confess in some way and the Rock had received their confessions.

I began to think about a few people in the Bible who traveled into the wilderness and ended up at The Rock. Moses went to Mt. Sinai to replace the Ten Commandments that he broke after the Golden Calf incident. Moses was not down with the party! Elijah went to Mt. Horeb (Sinai) after he called fire down from heaven and his pissed off enemies were in hot pursuit. Abraham went to the mountain to sacrifice his son at God’s request. They all needed a God connection of some kind.

If graffiti was in vogue in biblical times what would these guys have confessed to The Rock? Here are some possibilities:

Moses: “These people are idiots! I should never have taken this job!

             For a good time don’t call  the Israelites.”

Elijah: “Uncle! I am undone.”

Abraham: “LOL, really?

              The wife is going to kill me for this!”

I wonder if any of these guys were as baffled about life as I am. Their encounters at The Rock seemed to sort things out for them.

Often I cannot make heads or tails of what I am supposed to be doing. Someone once said that I would see opportunity and change when God breathes on my efforts. Well, it seems like God is holding God’s breath.

There is a huge Rock in Portland called the Grotto. It’s a spiritual place. Just like Sinai people go there to seek meaningful experiences with God. I think I will go.

What confession will The Rock evoke from me?


“My lips move but I can’t speak”


“How long will we sing this song?”

What about you? If you were to go with me, what words would you leave behind?

8 Replies to “The Rock of Confession”

  1. I would write, Christ have mercy,G(od have mercy on me my loved ones, my country, my world. I would love to go with you my friend.

  2. after listening to God I would think, really? no, really? i don’t think i heard you … or maybe … what you are asking is more than me. then i would write “i am scared. god help me to trust.”

  3. Ah. . . The Grotto.
    I have a dear friend named Kathryn. We were in a scrabble group with 2 other women for almost 4 years. We would rotate houses and meet once a month at each one for scrabble, and what went from snacks in the beginning stages, into a big feast,(especially when it was Kathryn’s turn!)a night of commaraderie (sp?), laughter and sometimes tears. She for years spoke so lovingly of The Grotto. She went so often she ended up befriending one of the priests there and they had a long friendship. Kathryn passed away 2 years ago. I have the letter K tattoed on my forearm. I have heard so much of The Grotto yet I’ve never been. I hear it is beautiful.

    If I were to go, while keeping in the music theme you’ve got going here, I’d go with Foreigner and I’d write (confess?) ‘I want to know what love is’.

    Then the Catholic side of me would form an anti-grafitti clean up crew, having written all over the rock and feeling guilty about it by now, and try to get the rock back to it’s original, natural state 🙂

    Ok..ahem, I seem to have forgotten who’s blog it is here! Ha..sorry 🙂
    Thank you Deborah for providing tasty food for thought.

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