Hope is beyond what we can see. What we can touch, feel, know, smell, create may not
last. We can’t hope in these. Hope looks further. If we only look around at the tangible, we are missing hope.
A trip to The Old Town Cemetery in Sandwich, Massachusetts shows you where hope
is not. This graveyard opened in 1663. Its preservation of the record of lives
in the this small New England town isn’t encouraging.
Gravestones once carved with florid tributes to loved ones are now blank, all the carefully inscribed words lost to wear and weather.
Some stones are chipped.
Some are almost overcome by encroaching grass and earth.
Stones fell and shattered.
Loved ones were buried without names here.
What started as planned rows and family plots are lost on the hodge-podge slopes.
The message of this place is that life is transient. Love etched in granite wears
away. Markers set in dirt sink.
The lake below the cemetery is still there, though, more than 300 years after the
colonists first laid their family members to rest beside it.
As water nourishes physical life, hope nourishes our souls. And hope is found in something bigger than we can see. Hope is possible because of faith. The colonists may have sung the old hymn that says, “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, be thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.” With faith, hope
is carried beyond the graveyard, beyond the decay of earth. That is the hope that lasts. Wandering in The Old Cemetery of Sandwich on a cloudy autumn day brings this truth home.
Linking up at Ann Voskamp’s today.