On This Easter Sunday….

A reflection I wrote years ago.

“I left my home this morning.  The sun was up, but not over the mountain yet, and I went to the cemetery.  The air was crisp–so much so that I had to bring my hands into my hoodie sleeves for warmth.  I walked the lanes, one after the other, in a brisk pace. The air was filled with an organic, earthy scent.  As I walked I read headstones and thought of the hundreds of souls who rest there.  I wondered about their stories and trials and challenges and came to the conclusion that there were so many more troubles buried in that little cemetery than there could ever be in my own life.  It made me grateful to have the problems that I have, the burdens I carry, and that I have the hope of overcoming them no matter how small they may be.  I realized that I was walking among friends, brothers and sisters, who now surely have an insight to the lifelong mysteries that we struggle with. Some of them, quite literally, are friends that have passed and have left their legacy of faithfulness behind. And one day, I will join them and leave a legacy filled with my own signature heritage.  As the sun crested the mountain and hit the cemetery, (At long last! Warmth!) the dew on the grass became a carpet of millions of diamonds.  The sunlight gave the moisture on the grass a different job now–to pave the ground with a sparkling celebration glorifying the stone tributes that so gracefully and prominently proclaim the lives of those who lay beneath them. It was beautiful.  It really was.

It reminds me of another time, years ago, when I was in a cemetery in the morning.  We were in Omaha, visiting Jason’s sister and family, looking in a cemetery a bit north of the Winter Quarters Temple.  We happened to be looking for my great, great, great grandfather’s grave. Daniel Brown, that’s who we were looking for.  It was misty and green and quiet, despite the fact that we were just a stones throw from a highway.  It was silent and the air was thick with the feeling that this was sacred ground.  It was Easter Sunday and I will never forget the impression that I had telling me that we were not alone there.  It made me step a little lighter and whisper, instead of speak. There were spirits there, perhaps just for that day, and their message was drenched in the good hope of the resurrection. They wait for Him and have hope in Him and the things that only He can do. It was the strongest testimony I have ever had regarding the resurrection and the necessity to the family of man that it is. I felt it more deeply in my heart than anything else that has so reverently and beautifully been given to me and I remember how astonishingly lovely that place was.  How amazing the atonement and resurection are.  How deeply moving the compassion and love that our Savior has for each one of us is, even for those that have no earthy cares.  I know he loves me and I know he loves you.

I never did find Daniel, though I did come to know that I probably walked on him at some point. He lies in an unmarked grave.  I am sure that this man, who walked and talked with the prophets of God, has the same faith that his great great great grand-daughter has.  His faith carried him from North Carolina to Nebraska.  My faith carries me from one day to the next.” 

A peaceful and warm Easter to all of us who wait in gratitude and hope. 

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