My husband’s parents, like my parents, spent a lot of time in cemeteries, but for a different reason.
They were genealogists. They very patiently, in all kinds of weather and environment, used chalk and paper to get information from tombstones that had long ago faded.
They collected names, dates of birth and death and then researched how they fit into someone’s family tree.
Occasionally they were able to collect information that illuminated details of people’s lives that brought a clearer picture of who the person really was.
They published a book of information on people buried in certain cemeteries.
So you can imagine my mother in law’s look of horror when I once said I did not see the purpose in tombstones. I noted they just seemed to condense a life to just the dates of its beginning and ending. What about the life in between those dates?
She immediately said, “Oh Carolyn, there must be a record that you lived!”
My thought has always been that the value of my life will be in how I positively affected other people. How much Love did I show? Did I ever get to the point of being able to say, as Jesus did, “If you have seen me, you have seen The Father?”
My life should not stand as an “ego wall,” of earthly accomplishments. My life should be remembered as an example of how much of Love, Grace and Mercy God can pour through one of His Creations.
My husband and I have conceded my mother in law’s point. We will have something that shows the dates we manifested on earth in physical form and the date on which people stopped seeing us in earthly form.
But we will also find a way of noting The Life God lived through us. That will be our real and eternal message!
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17