THE REASON WE REMEMBER GREAT PEOPLE
These are reported to be actual epitaphs on tombstones:
For not rising. (Ruidoso, New Mexico)
Here lays Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw. (Silver City, Nevada)
The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna. (Ribbesford, England)
She always said her feet were killing her
but nobody believed her. (Richmond, Virginia)
Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
(Enosburg Falls, Vermont)
Harry Edsel Smith
Born 1903–Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if
the car was on the way down. It was. (Albany, New York)
An anonymous tombstone:
I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Of yours. (Stowe, Vermont)
In Memory of Beza Wood
Departed this life
Nov. 2, 1837
Aged 45 yrs.
Here lies one Wood
Enclosed in wood
The outer wood
Is very good:
We cannot praise
The other. (Winslow, Maine)
How sad to come to the end of your life and others not have anything good to say about you! Hebrews 11 could be viewed as a collection of epitaphs of many who had died. The chapter starts with these words:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” (Hebrews 11:1-2)
I like how the New Century Version translates verse 2: “Faith is the reason we remember great people who lived in the past.” That’s true, isn’t it? Every single person in the Bible we regard as “great” was a man or woman of faith. That faith made a difference in the way they lived and responded to God. That’s why we remember them.
May your life be characterized by faith in God so that those who prepare your tombstone won’t struggle with finding something kind to say.
Have a great day!
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
– Romans 13:9
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary — the evil it does is permanent.
– Mahatma Gandhi
In many parts of the world the people are searching for a solution which would link the two basic values: peace and justice. The two are like bread and salt for mankind.
– Lech Walesa
from his Nobel Lecture
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