The Blarney Stone in Cork, Ireland promises power but another stone delivers it

©Joy Dunlap

Yes, I kissed the Blarney Stone.

Not because I believed that stone would do anything (which I don’t) and not because I believed it has any special power (which it doesn’t) but because I wanted to experience it for myself. To see this historic stone that millions had gotten up close to over the centuries, it was, well… it was just the touristy thing to do.

So, yes, I got the t-shirt…and a photograph too, but where either are today I have no idea!

Legend promotes that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will receive the gift of eloquence, the skill of elocution, the gift of gab!  A piece of limestone built into a castle in Cork, Ireland, the famed stone is a popular tourist attraction drawing 400,000 visitors a year to kiss it.

If you’ve never kissed the Blarney Stone, I don’t recommend it.  Climb up the tower, look around, soak in the ambiance, watch other people contort themselves into position to kiss it, and create your own experience at the Blarney Castle.

You won’t miss anything except affixing your lips to a wet and somewhat slimy surface. They spray it with some sort of disinfectant (thankfully).

One thing I didn’t realize until after I climbed the tower and stood in line behind a succession of kissers – you have to lay down and bend your head backwards to kiss it.  You hold onto iron bars, and someone watches (and often holds you) to make sure you don’t somehow bang your head or slide over the castle’s side thus squashing your ability to gab for good.

The Blarney Stone is incredibly effective in the gift of gab in one way…it’s a promotion megaphone to attract a constant flow of tourists.

You’ve heard the old adage “Kiss and Tell” – well, kissing and telling has become a retail boon for the Blarney Stone.  T-shirts, magnets, mugs, and numerous other items allow the kissers to make sure others know of their kissing accomplishment.

But back to the discussion of eloquence – and I’m not talking about the Blarney Stone anymore.

One of the most well-known and admired people in Biblical history was concerned about his lack of eloquence.  When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, this devoted man felt inclined to tell God why he didn’t think he was qualified for the job.

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. (Exodus 4:10)”

Remarkedly, this was right after God turned Moses’s staff into a snake and back, and covered Moses’s hand with leprosy and healed it so that Moses could perform those miracles through God’s power as proof of God’s calling the Israelites.

God had repeatedly demonstrated His power and His presence in amazing ways to Moses.

And, yet, Moses still felt the need to remind God of his perceived inadequacies to do what God called him to do. That did not make God happy.

Moses was focusing on his own inability instead of God’s ability.   

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

So Moses acknowledged the power of God and jumped up and down with excitement about his calling, right?  Wrong.

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses…Exodus 4:14a

But God is merciful – and He equips those He calls. 

And he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. Exodus 4:14b-15

So, Moses and Aaron teamed up to do God’s will and to follow God’s call to lead the people out of Egypt. Their ultimate obedience to God continues to inspire to this day. The impact of their listening to God and letting Him lead is known through the accounts of them leading the people out of slavery, the parting of the Red Sea, and the journey toward the Promised Land.

To communicate with God, and to do His will, we don’t need eloquent prayers, elaborate vocabularies, or immense scholarship. We need to show up and step out in faith. 

Like Moses, we may as well be honest with God, because He already knows our character and our concerns, our fears and our flaws.

The power comes from God.  He can equip us for whatever He calls us to do. What He desires from us is an open heart and a willingness to follow His lead for His purpose.

The apostle Paul writing in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 says this:

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

When we realize our own weaknesses and acknowledge them, we invite God to demonstrate His power through us to draw others to relationship with Him. 

He leaves no stone unturned to do that.

The true Stone – the Cornerstone – the One who gives us what we need, is right where we are – always present and ever powerful.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20

  • What touristy thing have you done that turned out better than you expected?  Or was a disappointment?
  • What is something you’ve learned about yourself while traveling or exploring?
  • If you were to tell God one thing you don’t feel confident in, what would it be?
  • Why do you believe that Christ is the cornerstone that allows us to be in relationship with God in a personal way?   (If you don’t, please read Colossians 1:15-29 and John 14:5-6.)
  • What is God calling you to do for Him?  Are you listening?

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62 :5-8


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™

*Scripture references are from New International Version (NIV)


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!