Richard Craver

Thoughts, Musings And The Occasional Rant

Walking Through The Cemetery At Night

Written By: richardwcraver - Apr• 20•19

Its the night before Easter and I suddenly remember that I had not taken the flowers to the cemetery. Maybe I forgot, maybe I subconsciously pushed it out of my memory for awhile, it is tough to go there.

The flowers had been purchased, two lilies, one each for my mom and dad, not that I care less about grandma and grandpa.

So I drove through the gates and made my way to the spots I know so well. I leave the headlights on and carry a flashlight hoping no one calls the sherrif. Walking among the graves at night doesn’t concern me, walking through the mall parking lot at night does. Actually I’m among family, friends and old acquaintances here.

As I stand over my mom’s grave I try to recall how she looked in that purple dress and that wig when we buried her in 1996. Her death certificate said leukemia, the truth is the chemotherapy took her first. As a nurse of many years she chose the long shot treatment rather than the slow debilitating route. Her immune system never recovered and she was gone in a couple weeks.

At her feet is grandma, she had an infectious smile and laugh. She lived a good, long, full life. A few rows over is her daughter, Aunt Rachel, she and her unborn son were taken suddenly in a car crash when I was 7 years old. Grandpa is across the way. He and grandma lived through World War 1, the great depression, World War 2, raised 8 children and buried 2 as adults, saw horse draw wagons and plows give way to automobiles and tractors, airplanes, jets, rockets, space shuttles, telegraphs, telephones and cellphones. They did and saw all this while maintaining a simple faith in God.

Across the cemetery is more emotional. My dad has been gone a little over two years, as vascular dementia was mercifully ended by a stroke. After his death his second wife, who was rather well off and her family set about to break the will. I really liked her… I’m trying hard not to be bitter, she and her daughter and crooked attorney have their just reward. It’s just difficult to come to this place when the recent memories as so raw.

Near my dad is my earliest spiritual mentor. Life and miles drifted us apart, he was my spiritual daddy that had everything to do with me coming to faith in Christ. Also nearby is my dad’s cousin, he was a welder, I admired his skill and ethic. Also nearby are a few men that were prominent in my early life.

I suppose some are frightened of cemeteries because death is the great unknown. As Christians we may be apprehensive, but we know we don’t have to fear death because we know one that conquered death, Jesus.

Skeptics will scoff, but we know from the Biblical AND secular record that Jesus lived, died and yet was seen again alive fulfilling all prophecy about him. This is laid out well in the book written by a (now former atheist) investigative journalist in The Case For Christ, by Lee Stroebel.

Scoffers aside, what does that mean for you and I? The gospel message is that we were made as eternal beings to walk in fellowship with God. That fellowship was broken by sin and death came to our earthly bodies. But by paying sin’s price with his sacrificial death, Jesus conquered death and gives us the hope of heaven.

Hope? Not a ‘hope so’ hope, but a ‘know so’ hope.

1 Corinthians 15:12-28 NIV

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

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