They stretched out row after row, most with a single fragmented sentence to capture each life. I walked among them searching for my own grandparent's grave, wondering about the lives that once filled the bodies that lay beneath the stones. The story of a life is so much more than a few words can express.
For the most part, I like cemeteries. I like the peacefulness, the reflection, and the silent history that lies beneath the earth. And on this day, scanning surnames looking for my own, I made an observation about the small town cemetery. Lying side by side were the Catholics, the Protestants, the Orthodox, and those without affiliation or other affiliations. I like that picture so much... I think that it is a picture of heaven.
I do believe that Jesus is the way to heaven, and there is no way around that. Only He could ever be enough to take care of our sin so that we can come into the presence of God. But I also believe, like in the cemetery, that souls once defined as Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox, and those without affiliation or other affiliations will rest side by side in heaven, worshipping the One who made the way for them to get there. The divisions will be gone, along with the tears, the shame, the hurt, and everything else we will leave behind on this earth. Who we put our trust in is the key to heaven and abundant life on earth- not which affiliation or building we think He belongs to.
The ground at the cemetery was level... as is the ground at the cross. For those of you thinking that any part of you divides you from the celebrations of heaven, take it to the cross and ask Him if He will take it for you. The answer will be yes.