I love taking pictures of old cemeteries. Maybe that makes me a little twisted (some truth to that) but there is a wonderful beauty to these places. One thing that I often think of when I am walking around them is about the stories of those buried there. Such as this picture – I can barely read the words on the stone – who was this, when were they buried, what were their stories? We don’t like to think a lot about death – its a scary concept. Yes, as a Christian I have hope for the future beyond this life, but what if we don’t have it “right”? What if there is nothing after death? What if it is something entirely different? What if? We don’t like the idea of our lives coming to an end. Its been interesting to read the responses to Jimmy Carter’s comments about his recent cancer diagnosis, including several making the rounds on social media about being at ease with the diagnosis and being ready for whatever comes. Its a refreshing perspective as he is confident of what is to come and he is content with what his life has been. I think one of the reasons that many of us struggle with death is not worry about what comes after but not being content with what our lives have been or are today.
Nouwen wrote, that “Jesus came to take the sting out of death and to help us gradually realize that we don’t need to be afraid of death, since death leads us to the place where the deepest desires of our hearts will be satisfied.”
As Jesus said many times over…”Do not be afraid…”