Yes, I know, I’ve said all this before but this time I have a visual aid.
I am writing in a cottage on the property of the Buck Bay Shellfish Company near the village of Olga on the southeastern edge of Orcas Island. By the time we leave, Amy and I will have been here a week, and a very fine week it has been.
Just up the road from us, there’s a sign post that caught our attention. My photo of it is the visual aid I mentioned earlier, the one that prompts me to say something I’ve said before.
Yes, certainly cemeteries are places of rest for the dead. But our faith teaches us that it is not the end. We are taught and hold dear that we participate in and will always participate in eternal life. We die, yes, and in that death, eternal life is ours.
By “eternal life,” we do not suggest immortality. There is nothing in all creation that can claim that. You know as well as I do that “immortality” and “resurrection” are irreconcilable. We are resurrection people. We are not immortal.
We die in the midst of our companionship with God. In death, that companionship continues. That continuance we call “eternal life.” We die but we do not suffer the loss of God. And certainly, in the economy of God, nothing is lost, not even you and me.
I have reached the point in life where I am older than the “elderly” I read about in novels. And if my aspirations continue, I will get older and older. But then that sequence will come to an end. In death, I will be cremated and my remains will be deposited directly into the ground in the Langley Woodman Cemetery, there to await the arrival of my dear Amy. Every once in a while, I visit this location, attractively marked with a bench from my wood shop. The remainder of my “eternal life” will be spent there, very near a young sequoia tree, in the company of God.
Please, then, do not get hoodwinked about “dead end.” Our faith teaches us that whereas life may have “no exit” and “no turn around” and “no outlet,” it is not a “dead end.”