I drive every day by the Cemetery where my dad is buried at least twice. Most days, If traffic is moving along, I can just pass by it. Other days, I am affected by it. Sometimes I am angry, others, I am sad, but most often I am frustrated mostly with the living.
I see countless flowers spread among the stones- beautifully crafted designs draping over stones, single buds propped against the side, and the kaleidoscope of color is amazing. I see each color and think of the mourning of the individual who placed that bud there and I weep for their heartbreak, and rail against their pointless gift.
There are some, who without the acceptance of Christ will be mourned-truly, because there will be no meeting in the heavens. There is death- and only death for those, and that is something to be mourned and grieved. To those I say- bring your flowers, however, there is no one there to enjoy them.
To Christians, I think- why are you wasting earthly goods to buy a gift for one who is surrounded by a field of flowers in Heaven while they walk with Jesus? What good will your flower do? Do you really think they are looking down on you saying- “Melissa is so sweet to think of me and spend money on flowers to leave to die upon my tombstone?”
NO! They are saying, stop wasting money on me- I AM GONE and Glad of it! There cry is go use that resource to spread love to the LIVING. To those who don’t know their savior yet. Don’t wait until the flowers for the living become flowers for the dead who did not met our incredible Savior.
Go to a nursing home and drop that arrangement off, and ask for it to go to the most crochety person in the place- and sign the note, “The One who sees you”. “The One who loves you”. “You are loved”. “You are precious”.
Celebrate the living.
I looked up tombstone on Bible Gateway- because my curiosity got the best of me. Love what I found.
2 Kings 13: 20 Elisha died and was buried.
Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. 21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.
That’s all it says about it. It doesn’t say anything else remarkable about the tomb. Nothing about what happened to that man. Just that upon touching the bones of Elisha the man came to life. The tombs we use- are quite different aren’t they? We don’t typically share coffins. We each get our own “resting” place. You can rest if you want- I am planning on using the time I am given to impact the world. I don’t have time to sit at a graveside- even one of someone I dearly love and miss. I have a bigger purpose than sitting with the dead- and so do you. They don’t rejoice with you in your successes, they don’t grieve with you in your disappointments, but they do see you visiting as as waste of time. You can’t bring someone back or bring a smile to the face of one whose future has already been determined. You aren’t viewed as faithful because you delivered flowers and cleaned a stone that someone else is PAID to clean. You aren’t showing honor. You aren’t showing love- because stones can’t receive either. Love and Honor are shown by loving your neighbor, by stewarding your resources well to impact the Kingdom with and for a purpose- so that they know Him and no one ever has to go and mourn a stone that gives NOTHING back.
Be Blessed today- and stop leaving gifts for the dead- it’s idolatry when the living are waiting for someone to find them and pour value and truth into them!