What do you want to have inscribed on your gravestone? Here are some good epitaphs I found online (all real!):
“I told you I was sick!”
In a Georgia cemetery
“The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.”
In a Ribbesford, England cemetery
“Here lies the body
of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake.”
Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery
“Here lays Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.”
In a Silver City, Nevada cemetery
“I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont
“Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.”
Anna Hopewell’s grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont
“Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest man.
And that is Strange.”
A lawyer’s tombstone in England
For not rising.”
In Ruidoso, New Mexico
“Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.”
Dec. 8, 1767
“Reader if cash thou art
In want of any
Dig 4 feet deep
And thou wilt find a Penny.”
John Penny’s epitaph in the Wimborne, England cemetery
“Gone away Owin’ more
Than he could pay.”
Owen Moore in Battersea, London, England
So, what do you want on your gravestone? What do you want to be said of you when you leave this earth to go to be with Jesus? Write it down right now.
Whatever you just said is what COULD be. What’s the reality? What kind of epitaph would be written about you today if – God forbid – you were to pass away? I pray that it would be similar to what is said about Hanani and Hananiah in Nehemiah 7.
Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many. (Nehemiah 7:1-2, ESV)
These men were known for their trust in the Lord. Their reputation: God-fearing and faithful. We may not know much else about them, but the simplicity of this statement about the dash between the years of their lives is enough, isn’t it? Here’s a question for application and reflection:
How do I close the gap between what would be said of me today and what I hope will be said of me in the end?
I’ll give you my simple answer: walk closely with Jesus. Live for Him more every day than the day before.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor