“I Think I Heard Voices Coming From The Grave”

IMG_1438She rushed home that night. You could see the tremors in her legs, the fears in her eyes. Her voice too was trembling, and with a sense of urgency. ” I think I heard voices coming from the grave. Muffled voices.”

You too used to believe in ghosts considering your past religious background and your family’s penchant for stories bordering on the supernatural. For example: A gleam of light that leaps or flashes under the rain is the ghost of one who just died in an accident, coming back to the place where his blood had been spilled, to haunt the guilty. Or: When you dreamed you had fallen into a pool, your ghost just got drowned; emergency! someone has to shake you up from that bad dream, or you could no longer be revived.

Crying ghosts were her stories and graveyards were her favorite settings. When she opened her mouth for the first tale in a series of tales she alone could tell with finesse, she was in her elements. Let her end the stories she had begun. There’s no begging her to stop. She loved to tell tales that evoke fear.

But tonight was different. “Muffled voices,” she repeated. “As if from the greatest depths.” She was begging you for one more time. Listen.

You never believe in those voices anymore, you think she just invented them; but you believe that she had told you the truth of her past. Of her immoral past. Countless paramours. Two kids, two fetuses actually, their lives snuffed out, their voices quietened–probably by too much crying? She was afraid. Very much afraid.

She was afraid of the ghosts of her past more than she was afraid of the God who rules over spirits and ghosts. You taught her the gospel, the good news of release, from fear, from the enslavement of sin, even from the demons of her past. Only Jesus could give you that, you said. Trust Him, obey what He says.

This is now the fifth year since she died. And you were told that as she lay dying, she was mumbling her fears of ghosts and graveyards. She could not trust Jesus enough.

Remember this well tonight as you read these lines. There may be ghosts who are crying in the graveyards of our past, graveyards of our own making. And their cries are begging us to listen once more before it is too late.

There is the graveyard of omission, the burial grounds for memories of those things we purposely omitted to do. The graveyard of neglect and forgetfulness. Another graveyard where we bury the memories of our rebelliousness. The graveyard of irreconcilable differences which we maintain by continually sending out hate mails. The graveyard of religious arrogance: the image of ourselves that we prop up, that though we are not the best of men, we are much better. The graveyard of cold shoulders: though we see each other at church, we never talk to each other. The graveyard of indifference: our ears that have become deaf, our consciences have been deadened, our hearts have become slow to perceive. The graveyard of an-eye-for-an-eye: be careful of what you say or write, I might hail you to court. The graveyard of hurt feelings; buried here are memories of wounds that failed to heal, all pointing to us as the cause of it all. There are more.

Be troubled by their cries. It’s good to be, than to be troubled by the prospect that you are going to face Him there, He sitting on that throne of righteous judgment.

Be troubled of that day: that would be the day when all mistakes shall be rectified, when all wrongs shall be made right.

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