What’s in Your Stone Collection? by M.J. Johnston



I keep a small white stone on top of my desk, a keepsake from a beach vacation with friends.  The stone is not much to look at, but for me, it symbolizes treasured friendships, eternal beauty and the constancy of good.  Just glancing at it provides me reminders of the importance of these qualities which lifts my spirit.

In the Bible story of David and Goliath (I Samuel: 17), the shepherd-boy, David, chose five smooth stones from a brook to arm him in battle against Goliath, the giant Philistine warrior.  The stones illustrated David’s trust in the power of God’s protection in contrast with Goliath’s reliance on his overall size and man-made weapons of warfare – a sword, spear and shield.  Of course, David, with the use of his slingshot and one strategically placed stone was victorious over Goliath.

While discussing this Bible story with a group of friends recently, several analogies were raised.  One friend mentioned that, as a rock collector, she uses a ‘tumbler’, a container where rocks are placed to be knocked around with some grit thereby removing sharp edges and making the rocks smooth.   It can take considerable time in the tumbler before a rough-hewn rock becomes smooth.  David’s chosen stones were akin to prayers which had been honed through the years and found to be effective in providing him help and support in delivering the sheep in his care “out of the paw of a lion and the paw of a bear” and in defeating Goliath.  David knew which stone would be most effective in his battle with Goliath and this knowledge and understanding brought success.

A couple of articles in JSH-online.com provided different interpretations of ‘five smooth stones’.  One author likened them to five different words which can be substituted for God such as, Love, Truth, Life, Spirit and Mind.  Another author felt they symbolized books and periodicals which provided him with inspiration like the Bible and writings by Mary Baker Eddy, a nineteenth century author of many inspirational papers as well as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,  a book based upon Eddy’s study of the Bible.

So, I asked myself, “what are my smooth stones?”  Recently, I was asked to deal with a sensitive personnel issue with one of our band members.   While this member was not a “Goliath” in stature, the temptation for tension and discord in the band was looming large.   The ‘smooth stone’ I selected is called, the “Daily Prayer” by Mary Baker Eddy, which I pray each morning.   “Thy kingdom come;  let the reign of divine Truth, Life and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!”  Like David’s stone, this prayer has brought me success throughout my life.  It provides me with a spiritual perspective, a closer connection to God and, with that realization, a quick resolution to problems.

A new approach came to me on how to handle this issue which resulted in a harmonious outcome for both the band and the member involved.  Tension and discord were defeated as a result of this one prayer.

Whether it’s a citation from a holy book, a song, or a quote from your mother, I think it’s important to have your very own ‘smooth stones’ to hold in your thought.  They will forever be what provide you with comfort, inspiration and a conscious, constant connection with God.

Mary Jane (“M.J.”) Johnston is a former executive with a Fortune 10 company and is now in the full-time study and practice of Christian Science. She and her husband live with their (2) sons and “Grandma J.” in Lutherville, MD.  M.J. enjoys outdoor activities and plays the bagpipes with a local band.  


  1. Thanks for this great reminder!

    • Thank you Leslye. I am glad you enjoyed this blog. I will share your comment with MJ. Kate Johnson

  2. Thank you for the new insight on this beloved bible story and how it can be applied to my current situations!