A recent article in the Feb. 26 Northern Virginia Daily, “A Place of Lost History and Identity,” addressed the search for the graves, markers, and names of those buried in an African-American cemetery.
Highlighted was Carolyn Jenkins. It really touched my heart, for this lady was at the “bottom” of the social and economic “ladders,” a “nothing,” if you will. For she was a slave, knowing only bondage to her master(s). An almost miraculous chain of events, however, brought her freedom and its promises, including citizenship and being a landowner!
Her marker reads, “And the finger of God touched her and she slept.” This, to me, would say she knew of and possibly believed in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Jesus said of Lazarus that “he sleeps,” but later added that “Lazarus is dead.” So, Carolyn is to be considered dead; her body at rest “in the Lord.”
Another miraculous event took place: Jesus called out, “Lazarus come forth,” and he came out of his tomb! Folks, this is beyond miraculous, it is something only God can do. And because Jesus has the power, even Carolyn is subject to his awesome words; “…all those in the grave shall hear my voice and shall come forth”! Yes, yes, Carolyn is even now in the presence of Jesus and her body will rise from its tomb! Jesus said: …because I live, ye shall live also!”
Folks, this is what Easter resurrection Sunday is all about. A “nothing” in an old, lost tomb rising in glory to everlasting life and joy in the presence of God our Savior! Lost and forgotten? Never! He won’t forget us, for he is preparing a white stone bearing a new name for each one of us.
Well, to say a new name, means he must know, remember the old name? Think about that! A totally new and everlasting I.D., if you will!
When we get to heaven, if I can remember her name, I could look her up! In that event, I wonder if she might say; “Jess, I sure do like your letter!”
The Rev. Jess Shifflett is a resident of Front Royal.