I love old grave yards. Every headstone has a story and one gets only a glimpse of that story by what is written and the years that were lived. Mostly you are left wondering - and wishing one knew more. You are given a name, two dates and perhaps a small glimpse of their live - especially on older gravestones.
Actually the most important letter on a gravestone is not a letter at all but a dash. The dash between the date of birth and the date of death. That dash represents the time that God gave that individual to make a difference for Him. So, I wonder, what happened during their dash between birth and death - their allotted time?
For those who were people of faith- given the verses or attributes carved in stone I wonder what challenges they faced. But mostly I wonder who they influenced for Christ who may be alive today generations later! Because in the end that is what we leave - others we have influenced for Christ who carry on a Godly presence in our world. All of us are the recipients of a Christian witness that goes back in some way to the time of Christ.
It is interesting that most of us cannot remember the name of our great grand parents (apart from those who study their family genealogy) . That is how fast memory fades as each generation looks to the future not the past. But God always remembers - as He does the contribution we made to His kingdom which continues to ripple generation after generation. That is the true story of the headstones of God's people. That is the story they tell. It is the story I want mine to tell long after my name is forgotten.