What Will My Gravestone Say?


Will it be a plaque that sings of my wins?

Or a bragging eulogy that would hide my sins?

Or a crumpled leaf here now, then gone astray

What will my gravestone say?

 

Will it speak of a life lived for another’s joys?

Or just a wasted time in pleasures and toys?

Will my life be about the entitlement and fleeting ways?

Oh what will my gravestone say?

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Will it be a tally of medals shining bright?

For I know even those couldn’t bring me to light.

Or it will be a reminder of the things that really stay?

What will my gravestone say?

 

Will it be about my food, or clothes or my talk?

or a breakable tablet of my Godly walk?

Will it be about my work or my pay?

What will my gravestone say?

 

I so wish my tombstone is not about me

Or about experiences that I lived with glee

It must describe of the resurrection day

When Christ buried my sins away

 

I wish it’s about the nights He sang me to sleep

Or every moment of joy that He gave me to keep

Or about how He forgave me day after day

He had so much patience – I must say

 

My cenotaph must be a testimony of His sacrifice

Less than that, oh it just cannot suffice

For my life was like a feather, so to say

And He gave it a meaning that’s here to stay

 

Death is certain, temporary is our goal

For what shall it profit a man if he loses his own soul?

While there’s still time, there’s still a ray

It can be altered what the gravestone will say.

© Mukti Masih 2020. 

 

What Inspired this poem?

So many things, yet one specific thing. This month has been weird. I don’t want to use words like challenging or tough. Because, hundreds of people around me had it truly tough. I heard news of three deaths – deaths are important, every death is counted. An almost two-week old baby (pre-mature); a 60-something family friend (COVID-19) and an 83-year old family friend (old age).  Like most people,  I don’t have answers to why and how God allows something like the death of a two-week old infant. But what did fill me with hope was the assurance that He knows better. The hope came when I watched the funeral of the last deceased person I mentioned here – Uncle George David.

We met him last in February this year. He lived around 60km away from our city. He looked like the shadow of his former self – so fragile and ailing. It broke my heart that he lived alone there. And even when COVID-19 hit the world, he lived alone.  As a child, I had seen him as a humble and marvellous speaker – always in awe of God. We wondered at the simplicity of his sermons.

While praying for him in in his house before leaving, we all wept – just sad and angry and almost yelling at God – are you seeing this? Uncle David sensed our concern. With much honesty, he shared about his ailments but also about how a kind-hearted maid cooked food for him every day, and a gentleman from his neighbourhood visited him often or how two members of his church checked on him a few times a week.

During his funeral, there were a handful of people – but they all spoke of how their lives were changed because Uncle David took them to Christ. One of his closest friends still carried a Bible Dictionary that uncle had gifted him. Uncle David, as apostle Paul says in the Bible, had run his race – and how brilliantly. He once even turned down a journalist who wanted to write about his life and service to people in a nearby village community. Uncle David focused his ambitions on the one source of Joy nobody could take away from him, even in his death – and that is Christ.

I then got into evaluating my own life, how I have lived so far. A night before I just woke up and told God – I am not feeling it anymore. I am not worthy. This morning as we read through Psalm 139, I felt such a strong empathy-

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxieties; 

And see if there’s any wicked way in me, 

And lead me in the way everlasting. 

If you ask me now, I am back to basics – walking in God. I have no ambition of a better way. There’s none.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. beautifully written. You are right to say that my gravestone will say what I have been. What I have done. It is time to write a good story. excellent

    1. muktimasih says:

      Thank you and yes it’s time to evaluate 🙂

  2. It is Christ’s sacrifice that gives meaning to one’s life.

    To have one’s name and birth date and death date and the phrase “Buried In Christ” will suffice on the gravestone.

    1. muktimasih says:

      Very well said 🙂

  3. kinge says:

    Deep moving words and story, yes there’s a reason and purpose for everything. Thanks for sharing

    1. muktimasih says:

      Thank you. Happy it inspired you 🙂

  4. Called by to leave my thanks for your recent decision to follow Learning from Dogs. Thank you!

  5. cbholganza says:

    Once again, an inspiring poem that is so timely for me right now. Thank you so much.

    1. muktimasih says:

      For all of us indeed, considering what the world is going through. Shall keep you in prayers 🙂

  6. This is eloquent. Beautifully written.

  7. Freebies says:

    It抯 laborious to find knowledgeable individuals on this matter, however you sound like you realize what you抮e talking about! Thanks

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