Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
This adage is similar to “a little piece of churchyard fits everyone.” It speaks to our common fate of death and a reminder that each one of us is neither irreplaceable nor indispensable. This is true even though we often believe ourselves to be. I attended my 30th high school reunion and stood next to a classmate I had not spoken to since graduation. As we looked at a memorial wall of our classmates who had died, he casually said to me, "no surprises there" and I looked back in horror. He quickly clarified, explaining that he had heard of all the deaths. Fortunately, he was not saying what I understood him to mean, that they were all the "type" of people you would expect to die young. Sadly, this says more about me than it does about him.
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
I grew up in an era where it seemed an obligation for mothers to tell their children “even the Queen has to sit and pee.” It was the great equalizer- having to relieve oneself was a human's fate whether you were the Queen of England or the lowest of society. Indeed this verse from Genesis, which is often quoted in burial rituals, includes the same suggestion. Whenever we are tempted to think too much of ourselves, we are reminded that we are but mud, without Spirit being breathed into us. The graveyard, like the toilet, awaits us all.