We had just walked in the house from church last night, when a friend already there, said, “Please let me take you somewhere and show you something that you will never forget.” We thought it would be Christmas lights or a nativity scene. No problem, we love each of those.
So all five of us jumped in her car and took off. On the way, we continued to guess our final destination, someone’s house, the wonderfully lit town square, a local church and the nativity scene. We drove past all of that. We began to approach where she said it “might” be. All I knew that was in that area was a cemetery. We approached the drive and as I looked to my right there were candles illuminated everywhere, throughout the cemetery, every place where someone was laid to rest was a lit candle. It looked beautiful.
We turned into the drive and began to slowly pass through the display. Once a year I found out later the community sets up and lights a candle for each person who is laid to rest there so as not to forget them or their life. As it turns out I knew some who were laid to rest in that special place.
As we drove by, I recalled a teenage girl and how her memory continues to live on through her family and friends. And though her passing was sudden, I remembered standing in a line that wrapped around the funeral home as people came to say, “I was touched by this life.”
And there was a young child whose family I attend church with, and just a few weeks ago I listened to the childs father tell me of the memories of that young life and also how his family had survived the loss and how God had sustained them. A life in no way forgotten.
As we exited, our friend who had brought us to this special tribute said, “Look out there, those lights represent a life, a life that was born, they laughed, they cried, had husbands, wives, children, watched football, lived.”
It was in fact something I will remember for many years. Our lives… are truly never over. Our lives…they continue to inspire others, hopefully toward good, toward service to God and those we come in contact with throughout our lives here on earth. Earlier today, as I pondered what I had witnessed, the following verse came to mind and is indeed a wonderful representation for the visual image of hundreds of illuminated candles shining on a Georgia December night.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16.