Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finding Life in an Unexpected Place

From our living room window, I can see a large cemetery adjoining the field behind our backyard. Over the years, God has shown me that this so-called “final resting place” is actually full of activity!

When I walk through the cemetery, I see squirrels nimbly navigate through the trees and over monuments. Crows take turns cawing warnings from their sentinel posts on a large tombstone or atop a stately pine. Rabbits and groundhogs and even an opossum or two call it home.

Joggers, walkers, and mothers pushing strollers traverse the grounds as family members visit and decorate for each changing season. Children ride their bikes along the paved paths. Caretakers perform maintenance--mowing and trimming and general sprucing up.

Researchers in psychology say walking by or in a cemetery can prompt positive changes and promote helping others. The awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values.

All of this proclaims life, not death. For those who believe in Jesus, a cemetery can remind us of life everlasting. Jesus’ resurrection is the ultimate proof that the grave is not the end of life.

“The fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again.” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NLT)

When we place our faith in Jesus as our Savior, we join that multitude whose earthly bodies may fail but whose spirits will thrive for eternity with Christ.

"What we are teaching you now is the Lord's teaching: we who are alive on the day the Lord comes will not go ahead of those who have died. There will be the shout of command, the archangel's voice, the sound of God's trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first; then we who are living at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. So then, encourage one another with these words."  1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

I love to read the epitaphs on tombstones--so many of them speak of life beyond the grave. Next time you walk by or through a cemetery, look for signs of life--both for the present and for eternity. You just might gain a whole new perspective!

©2013 Pamela D. Williams