When evangelist Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007, she chose to have engraved on her gravestone words that had nothing to do with her remarkable achievements.
She tells the story that she had been driving one day along a highway through a construction site, and there were miles of detours and cautionary signs and machinery and equipment. She finally came to this last one, and this final sign read, “End of construction. Thank you for your patience.” *
And that’s what Ruth Bell Graham chose to have written on her gravestone:
“End of Construction. Thank you for your patience.”
Leonard Ravenhill, a well-known revivalist of the last century, had these words written on his gravestone:
“Are the things you are living for,
Worth the things Christ died for?”
John Maxwell wants these words written on his gravestone:
“Here lies a man who lived with purpose and intentionality.”
Jehoram (a king in the Old Testament) had these words left by others on his gravestone:
“He passed away to no one’s regret.”
The words on my late wife’s gravestone are:
“In Christ, With Christ.”
The words I want on my gravestone are:
“He died leaning forward.”
How about you? What will yours be?
C.S. Lewis put it this way:
“The Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought the most of the next…It is in since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”
So when you come to the end of your life, what do you want people to say about you? What words do you want written on your gravestone?
It’s an honest, probing, important question.
Ken L Roberts
Please leave a comment: If you have an idea of what you want written on your gravestone—I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment in the section below. Thanks!
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*Material from John Ortberg’s book, Soul Keeping, p 151