Monday, June 30, 2014

The Poetry of Sacred Spaces

Unity Cemetery- Fort Mill, SC

     I sat in the cemetery yesterday... the old part. The stones are more interesting there. It is like the difference between walking through the historic district of an old town and driving through a modern subdivision. There is in the old section an individuality that speaks to me. The old stones say, "I was here, uniquely designed for my time." The new stones say, "Same, same, same..."

     The sun there was attempting to brighten the 'smooth cloudy' sky. The old-timers would say, "If it don't rain it's gonna miss a good chance." The Stars and Bars were waving in the morning breeze, flags of the Confederacy placed on graves, for this is South Carolina... the first state to secede from the United States of America. Here, in Unity Cemetery, the CSA flags remind visitors of a house divided. 

     It was here, in Fort Mill, SC, that the last Confederate Cabinet meeting was held. And it is here, I am told, that the only memorial to African Americans who fought for the confederacy stands.

African American CSA Memorial

     One epitaph in the cemetery reads,

There is a bright
region above,
We long to reach its
To join with the dear
ones we love,
Not lost, but gone before.

     The name on the stone is Nettie, my Mother's name. I've never known anyone else to carry that name.

     Cemeteries do not remind me of death... they remind me of lives lived. A grave is the ground we all have in common and yet graves are not 'common ground.' Our graves contain remnants of the Creator's handiwork- His poems. We are the image-bearers of a Holy God, and our graves remind others there are still sacred spaces.

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