on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Remember the Stones

Daisy and I went for a hike today in the woods of sweet home Alabama.  Our twelve year old lab never turns down the opportunity to go for a walk in the woods.

We didn’t have a final destination in mind when we started to drive.  We ended up near Double Springs, AL at Camp McDowell, a beautiful campground owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.

After we had walked for awhile, I saw a small wooden sign that pointed the way to the “Labyrinth.”   We found it and I was a little bit disappointed initially.  Tree limbs and pine straw made it difficult to know where to enter and how to follow the rock lined path.  Just like life.

We finally figured out where to start and Daisy followed directly behind me walking the labyrinth as well.  A couple of times, the path was unclear due to nature’s messiness, and I had to take my eyes off the ground and look ahead to figure it out.

After a couple of minutes, we made it to the center and sat down.  Daisy lay down beside me chewing on a stick, content to wait.  I looked to my left and was surprised to see several stones that had these words engraved:  BELIEVE, CHARITY, INSPIRE, FRIENDS, HARMONY, TRUST.

The opportunity to hear God’s voice is always near.  The key for me as I walk my daily path is paying close enough attention to the small signs that are right in front of me.  Sometimes I never even see the signs and walk on by and miss the message completely.  Today, thankfully I was walking slow enough to notice.

This labyrinth path is circular and every step eventually leads to the center, and then, back out into the world.  I wonder how my life is like that?

But today, right there in the middle of the moment, there was a still small voice or message.

I was reminded to believe, to love, to inspire, to befriend, to make peace, and to trust.

Along your life path, give yourself the gift of surprise, and remember the lessons of the stones.


My wife, Mary Sullivan, also wrote about walking this same labyrinth about a year ago.  Read it here.


  1. Marti Holmes

    I find great strength and peace in the labyrinth….the comfort of the circle is reassuring and steady…..unlike my spiritual walk which is more serpentine, irregular and jagged. It was, as always, good to see you and have a minute or two to visit. And a good time to be at Wonderful Wonderful Camp McDowell.

  2. Malcolm

    Marti, your comment about the comfort of the circle is reassuring and steady is right on target.

    I’m so glad I had the great pleasure of running into you on our hike. I am thankful our paths have crossed and continue to do so, literally and figuratively.

    Peace to you my friend,

  3. Bob Blackwell

    Malcolm, thanks for the reminder that some of my closest times with God come from the messiness of my life. I’ve walked alot of labyrinths, some very nice, but those that you have to move the sticks on seem to have the most meaning. keep walking…. Bob +

  4. Malcolm

    Bob, you said that so well. After your comments, I think you are right that when you have to move the sticks it takes on a whole new viewpoint. I appreciate your encouragement always.

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