I love old boneyards. I really do. Not in a morose kind of way, though. It’s healthy, in fact. Let me explain what I mean.
I fell in love with old cemeteries during my stint at the college of Charleston in South Carolina, shortly after I accepted Christ. I was new to the city, and new to faith. It was a pretty lonely time for me, and I really didn’t know if I had the fortitude to make it as a Christian. On those gloomy, winter nights where I “wrestled” with God, I’d walk around the city praying and I’d sometimes end up in one of Charleston’s old churchyards. I’m an avid reader, and before I realized it, I was walking among the tombstones reading their epitaphs.
The tombstones of those believers who had passed on before me in that beautiful Southern city helped to inspire my embryonic faith. Because even before Twitter doubled the number of characters in a Tweet, the messages on those headstones were plainspokenly poignant.
He Died as He Lived: A Christian…
Mary Fell Asleep On 12 July 1731…
Till the Day Break…
That last one is from a small village in Southwestern, England. These four simple words are a powerful reminder of what death is for the believer.
I travel a lot, both here and abroad. Any chance I get, I’ll look for cemeteries to visit. Not because its spooky or creepy, but because I believe in Christ crucified and Christ risen from the dead. Sure, I’ve made it this far as a Christian, not because of fortitude, but because of grace. I still struggle at times, and I’ve stumbled and fallen more times than I’d like to mention. But in each instance, I’ve gotten pulled out of the muck.
But I still hang around graveyards occasionally. And sometimes a headstone like the one in England will help to remind me that I too am just a sojourner. My hope resides in knowing that someday Christ will call us from our slumber…and there will be no need for epitaphs.
John 1: 1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
D I G D E E P E R
Tom Darin Liskey
Tom Darin Liskey is an author, poet and photo-journalist. More than twenty years of international journalism and business experience gives Tom a unique perspective. That experience abroad has given him a keen eye to appreciate different cultures and locations. His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry has been published in literary magazines, both in the US and abroad including two published books.
All images © Tom Darin Liskey