Till The Day Break

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.

 

All images © Tom Darin Liskey

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