Reclaiming the Rejected Stone
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Ken JP Stuczynski
In my contemplations, I often think about the Lodge as a representation of my inner being. The physical world is outside, and the only thing that can enter are materials to build my Temple, be it thoughts, commitments, or experiences. The metal tools of the profane can only be applied to such things BEFORE they become part of us. Of course, we don't vet such "visitors" most of the time. We allow socialization, propaganda, and attacks against us of all sorts to seep in. They become a part of us whether we want them to or not. It's too late to work on what might have, should have, or could have been.
After a while, we must establish a refuse pile. Some might say this is our subconscious -- those things we don't want to think about or deal with -- but what if it's more of a storehouse? After all, I have a basement of tools, some of which I may never use, but surprisingly there are times I am glad I didn't throw something away. It could be a scrap of wood, a bent screwdriver that still can pry things, or that odd piece of hardware that just happens to fit a project my wife wants me to do unexpectedly.
And then there's trauma. There's hurt. There are the judgments of when we "weren't good enough", or embarrassed, or just didn't win at a game we invested a lot of emotion and energy into. There are regrets.
What if at least one of those "stones" was crafted by the Great Architect for a purpose we as yet do not know? What if no matter how un-square or unfitting (by our human judgment) a stone is, there's some important place for it anyway? Before raising an arch, you might not comprehend what a Keystone is for. You don't know where it came from or why. Was it a mistake, or part of some Greater plan by someone Greater than ourselves?
What if that time we messed up or were betrayed, or burned with unrequited love, wasn't part of our plan, but part of a plan made for us? What if surviving some terrible thing imbued us with the strength to overcome a hardship later in life? What if our painful times of need made us more charitable to other people's hurt or needs? What if those stones are already holding up arches, making our character better throughout a life that may not be as well-lived without them?
Maybe it's time to go through my rubbish pile, looking for that one stone that is ugly, imperfect, and just plain doesn't make sense. Maybe it's the key to something or someone I need more than I realize. Maybe the pegboard of the soul is G-d's Trestle Board, and it's my job to learn to put everything in its proper place, to figure out what each item is for, or have faith there's a reason for everything. Then when the task comes, I will know where to find the right tools, and the material I planned to reject -- maybe even my very self -- will become a thing of Strength, Wisdom, and Beauty.
Bro. Ken JP Stuczynski is a member of West Seneca Lodge No.1111 and recently served as Master of Ken-Ton Lodge No.1186. As webmaster for NYMasons.Org he is on the Communications and Technology Committees for the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. He is also a Royal Arch Mason and 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, serving his second term as Sovereign Prince of Palmoni Council in the Valley of Buffalo, NMJ. He also coordinates a Downtown Square Club monthly lunch in Buffalo, NY. He and his wife served as Patron and Matron of Pond Chapter No.853 Order of the Eastern Star and considered himself a “Masonic Feminist”.