Saturday, November 23, 2013

Grave stone

Padi's memorial stoneWe were hoping that the stone would be installed before Padi's birthday, but it was a surprise to hear from
Ash Memorials yesterday that the stone had been put into its place.
It was a lovely day to visit Pantmawr, Ally spotted the stone a way off. We know that mistakes happen with these things so were relieved to see that every detail was correct. It's not clear from this picture, but there is a full stop after the 2013 date. In the planning, I quite thought that it would be good if the bible text was along the bottom but of course this would mean it could be obscured by flowers laid at the foot of the stone. However, with the text immediately following that full stop, 'But now', it indicates, to my mind at least, that there is more to come. Every time we gaze upon the grave or call it to mind the word 'now' will speak back to us of Padi's enduring state of glory. Death is not the end, and 'in Christ Jesus' there is wonderful peace, hope, joy and glory. The last two lines speak of the fact that we are all sinners, willingly and willfully alienated from our Maker, yet with the blood of Christ atoning for us, we gain admission into union and communion with God forever. We are made nigh in this life, but how much more after death! That last line, 'made nigh' is no more true of anyone than Padi himself, in the immediate presence of God. This is explained wonderfully by Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones in his exposition of Ephesians 2:13, accessible from this link to the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust.
I don't think I'd appreciated what a memorial stone was really for before this one. It seems a bit odd, in a sortof morbid kind of way, but I really like it and would be quite happy to hang up a picture of it or use it as my computer 'wallpaper'. I'll probably have to settle for a plaque with the verse on it. I have to admit that we were trying to avoid using too many words as every additional letter is more money. Other stones have pictures of the deceased, icons of their football club, long lists of doting relatives' names or entire poem verses about missing the person, all of which must cost a small fortune! That is their choice, of course, and I respect it as such. But the words we have are so simple and profound, I really think this is one of the best grave stones I have ever seen. We believe in the resurrection of the body and, if he's not too taken up with what is taking place, if he can spare a glance at the inscription as he ascends, he will approve and find it a pleasing sight.

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