Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.” John 11:25
Short stories with big truths. It all started on a Saturday morning. We were a few months into writing stories on Facebook, and then decided to take the next step and build a website where our stories could be more easily accessed. Many of our friends were suggesting compiling the stories into a book. Well, that dream hasn’t happened and may not. But the website did. We decided to call it Grits with Grace. Grits spoke of our Southern heritage and grace of the most powerful thing we have ever experienced. Next came the tag line, “Short Stories with Big Truths.” Judy staged the picture in our backyard and, well, you probably know the rest.
Short stories with big truths. Hmmm. That came home this morning as I was walking. Sometimes, maybe once a week, I take my walk through our local cemetery. It is rather large and if I make a couple of laps around the outside coupled with a shorter one, I end up with about two miles. As I have written before, I love this walk because of all the life stories you can find on the headstones. I take the same route each time…I am a creature of habit. What I saw this morning I had seen many times before but this morning it spoke to me.
His name was Keith. I could give you the last name but for privacy I won’t. He was born on July 3, 1956, just a couple of years before me. In other words, I was two and a half years old that day when he started his life journey. It was the next date that always catches my attention. It was the date that he died. Keith drew his last breath on May 31, 1964, at the too young age of 7 years, 10 months and 29 days. I don’t know the cause of his untimely death…only that it was a too short story. Was it car accident, a bike accident? Did he fall while playing? Perhaps it was one of too many childhood illnesses. Even polio could be a possibility. Well, like I said we don’t know. The only thing we know is that something unexpectedly stepped in and stole his years away.
Short stories. The cemetery is full of headstones that speak of short stories. Walk a while and you will see that truth played out and that is why I am writing this story. You see, Keith is a reminder to me, as are all the headstones are, of a big truth. The number of our days are a closely guarded secret of the One who created us. He, and only He, knows when we will step into eternity. Death is certainly no respecter of race, color, creed, or economic status. Death doesn’t care about age. We only know that one day it will come but don’t let that deflate you or scare you because Jesus took care of death two thousand years ago when He resurrected that first Easter morning.
I’m sure Keith didn’t know he was going to have such a short story, but I hope he knew the One that could make a difference. I hope he knew Jesus. I hope you know Jesus. When Jesus is entered into any equation, well, it changes everything but especially death. With Jesus death is not the end but the beginning and no matter how many years we live here—the life on the other side is so much more…so much longer. Keith teaches us that some stories are short, very short and some stories are long, very long. Jesus teaches us that it isn’t the length of the story that matters, it is what we do with Him. He is what matters…not church, not religion, not religious stuff—just Jesus.
I really like what Jesus said in John 11:25—one of the books in the Bible that tells the story of Jesus. It says, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.” The her is a woman named Martha and her brother had just died with a too short story. Jesus is just letting her know that death doesn’t have to call the shots because He does. Short stories…those will always be with us but so will big truths—like the one that says, “I’ve got this” because He does. Bro. Dewayne