For a country kid, a church graveyard is just a great place for hide and seek.
Every once in a while, we’d climb the hill behind our house until we reached the little white church. Then the game would begin!
We would take off running, weaving in and out between saints and sinners and pick a spot.
Barely old enough for school, we were just the right size to fit behind a tombstone.
I remember walking around studying those stately monuments and looking at all the different colors of marble. I was always fascinated by the double heart shaped ones.
Finding our last names on one of them was amazing and our minds wandered as we tried to imagine what the people looked like and what their stories might have been.
Sometimes if we planned it out right, we’d bring a snack with us and have a picnic under a tall, shady tree.
I don’t remember the counting much and I don’t even remember being found. But I do remember running and hiding, which is a funny thing if you think about it.
The saints in our playground had been found. Found forgiven by a loving savior whose free gift of redemption they had accepted. Leaving their own wills at the altar, (maybe even the one in that little white church) they made a decision to follow Jesus.
The sinners had most surely done their own share of running and hiding. But they too were now found; not found forgiven, but eternally separated from the same loving savior whom they had rejected.
But we were young; preoccupied with the business of living.
“Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.”
Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT