Between the velvet lies, there's a truth that's hard as steel.-Ronnie James Dio
Dio was going on the radio as I drove into the cemetery this morning. The red rising sun cast its pink glow onto the pale marble all around me before it was swallowed by low-lying clouds.
There was a freshly dug grave nearby, a narrow hole which seemed barely wide enough to accommodate a casket, and I was struck by the strangeness of our custom; to place the remains of our dearly departed in a box and place them in the ground.
There is a significance to this whose meaning escapes me. I am reminded of the Viking funerals, not so much the burial rites, but images of burning ships sailing gloriously into seas set aflame by the setting sun.
It seemed fitting to me, however odd you may find it, to meditate on these things as I knelt before her grave on this day.
But as I look forward to the resurrection, it seems fitting as well to remember to be thankful: for mercy given, for sanctification completed, for ultimate healing (not the healing we had prayed for, right?).
To be grateful to remain, to be the one left standing, is most difficult of all, it seems.
Yet I remember that God's faithfulness is great and His compassions new every morning and I recall the lyrics of another song:
"The ones left standing carry on."
It's what God's children do.