I recently read a book where the author used the phrase “stone catcher” from the Bible passage where Jesus said, “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.” In this story, a group of religious leaders brought a woman who was caught in adultery (notice they didn’t bring the man) to Jesus with the hope that he would affirm their desire to stone her to death. In those days, stones were real, hard and deadly. Today, the stones we cast are more figurative yet just as harmful to the people who are on the receiving end. Which of these is most characteristic of your life and leadership?
Throwers are those who like to judge others, find fault with others, and trash talk others. Quite often, throwers have a very high view of themselves and low view of those different than themselves. One of the best words to describe a Stone Thrower is MEAN.
Avoiders live in fear of having anyone not like them. They sit on the sideline and resist taking any position or making any decision that may result in having someone toss a few stones their way. A word to describe Stone Avoiders is FEAR.
Catchers are those who use their position, credibility and influence to defend and protect those who cannot adequately defend themselves. While Avoiders sit on the sidelines and watch, Catchers take action. The key word for Stone Catchers is COURAGE.
William “Kyle” Carpenter was a 21-year-old marine who was in active combat in Afganistan when he threw himself in front of a grenade to protect another marine. As a result, he was severely wounded which included injuries to his skull, face and one of his lungs. On May 19, 2014 he became only the 8th living recipient of the Medal of Honor. Kyle is an example of a Stone Catcher!
It is easy to throw stones, but it is a lot more difficult to catch them. Catching them requires empathy, compassion, and the courage to stand up and defend the defenseless - even when they may not deserve it.
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of organizational assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Design from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from The Union Institute.