we eagerly wait

It's a tradition of mine to make a trip to the cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. I guess I shouldn't say "the" cemetery, since I don't really have a specific one to go to; it's usually whichever is nearest and has raised the memorial flags for the holiday.

But I've loved cemeteries for as long as I can remember. I love the quiet, the peaceful and beautiful atmosphere that allows people to come and wrestle with thoughts and memories and fears.

I'm an over-thinker, and the profundity and brevity of life and death are some of my brain's go-to sources of interest. Sometimes - like when I'm lying alone at night in the dark, seeing painful scenarios of the future play out in my mind as clearly as if they were happening right in front of me - I hate this tendency, how isolated and hopeless it leaves me. But over the years I've started to live with it a little better, even appreciate it.

Truthfully, because my mind has so thoroughly explored the concept of death again and again, it has given me also an opportunity to appreciate and soak in the beauties of life even while I wait for a far better eternity to come.

Maybe that's why I love to stroll through cemeteries, imagining the stories behind each headstone's name, wondering if their families think of them often, with smiles - even while I tear up for their losses, though I've never met them. Maybe it's why I instinctively seek something more, something I can't even describe; although others, like John and Isaiah and Ezekiel, have tried... yet even their descriptions succeed only in sharpening my thirst. And maybe it's why my heart breaks to see so many people, even Christians, living half-heartedly and temporally, with no thought for what matters - souls deaf to the whisper of eternity and dull to the hope of the truth.

 

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
- Philippians 3:18-21

Hallie Liening

Olympia, WA

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.