What Can Cemeteries Teach Us About Life?

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by: Lisa Likel

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

The people of long ago are not remembered… (vs. 11)

Walking through cemeteries is a favorite pastime of mine. As a historian, the gravestones call out to me, telling the story of who once breathed and walked and then died in this place. Sometimes the stories are poignant–drownings or illness taking whole families. I’m amused by the woman surrounded by her several husbands. Sometimes there’s an infant or elderly people who made their way across the sea to start a new life in a new place at an advanced age.

The care of these graves tell a story, too: who is left to remember? Are there flowers, bushes, flags, toys? Is the marker in good shape or faded and crumbling, maybe sunken or fallen? The people of long ago… I carry my thoughts on to who will remember me. What legacy will I leave? Even if there is truly nothing new under the sun, surely there is something precious to leave behind. Micah 6:8 teaches that God’s requirements are that we should act with justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. I want to be remembered for being that kind of person.

Things I can do:

Pick up that piece of garbage

Give a quarter at the checkout lane when the person in front of me is short

Let the other car in

Give the memories of my grandparents to my children

Take the single parent neighbor kids to church and shopping for Mother’s Day

Thank you, Father, for all those who walked before me, setting the example. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Larry and Linda Kopet


Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin Magazine and of OtherSheep, a Christian sci fi/fantasy magazine.

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