A few days ago, Ann and I were driving past a cemetery. "I like how they did those rocks," Ann said.
"What rocks?" I said. "Do you mean the head stones?"
didn't mean the headstones. "No," she said. "They had a small part of
the parking strip that they didn't know what to do with so they
landscaped it with rocks."
As I thought about it, I actually
thought about the headstones and what if she'd actually been commenting
on them. Most cemeteries are well-designed, and the stones--rocks if you
will--are laid fairly uniformly throughout the manicured lawn and
trees. They are peaceful places for the living to remember the dead for
the most part. But I also thought, would anyone want to be remembered as part of a collection of nicely designed rocks? The good news is that most people aren't.
people are remembered for cherished memories. For the love we had for
them. For the good they did and the kindness they showed in their lives.
They are remembered for their senses of humor or their love of life.
it would be if they were only remembered as part of a collection of
neatly arranged rocks, but there are people out there like that. Perhaps
their sense of isolation keeps them from making friends. Maybe they
have a mental illness that makes it hard for others to befriend them.
Maybe they just never had children and lived to an old age with no one
to remember them.
These are the kinds of people that most need our
love and attention. It's those that are hardest to love that most need
that love. Remember the words of our Lord:
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them
one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me.
Let's not focus on the rocks, but on the people for whom those rocks are just a representation. Let's be kind to the lonely and down-trodden in the world. Not only will it make their lives better, but it will enrich ours as well.