A mother's grave

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Though, with great admiration and appreciation for all the godly mothers of the Bible, such as Leah, Rachel, Rebekah, Abigail, Naomi, Hannah, and Mary the mother of Jesus, in this discourse I’ve chosen Sarah, the wife of Abraham Gen.11:29 and also his half sister Gen. 20:12. She was first named Sarai, which means princess, but at ninety God changed it to Sarah “mother of nations” Gen. 17:15-16). Abram was ninety-nine when his name was changed to Abraham Gen. 17:1, 5.  

Isaac was born when Sarah was ninety Gen. 21:2-3, she died 37 years later Gen. 23:2, and on that sad occasion, Abraham mourned and weep for his beloved Sarah, that same day a burial site was ask for, and out of respect, even as a stranger and a sojourner Gen. 23:4. He was given a choice of graves Gen. 23:6, his preference “Ephron’s field, in Machpelah facing Mamre (that is Hebron) in the land of Canaan; legal transactions were completed Gen. 23:12-20. 

At present, almost four thousand years have elapsed, since Sarah’s death. God Almighty only knows the number of visitors who have stood, mourned and reflected at the cave. Most likely, many times it was her faithful son, Isaac, who along with his wife Rebekah is buried there. Leah also is there Gen. 49:31.

The obedient faith of Abraham and Sarah has been revealed through several chapters in the New Testament, please note the influence of Sarah in 1 Pet. 3:5-6, “For after this manner in old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well and are not afraid with any amazement”. 

I’ve been very blessed by Sarah, through her spiritual daughters; my great-great grandmother Nancy Emily Tubbs, grandmother to my grandmother Nettie Jones, who the grand’s called Mama Jones, mother of my mother Tobye Craven, through whom I continue to be blessed. “Through the laughter and tears, Mother’s are forever”.

Before writing this article I visited the graves of these godly women, and thought about their influence, and what it had meant to me in my walk as a Christian. With love and respect I must add two more godly ladies to this list, my late wife Beverly and our late daughter, Jennifer Craven Knowles, all five were mothers and all daughters of Sarah in the fullest sense. 

Tomorrow will mark six months to the day since our mother passed from this life into comforts of Abraham’s bosom Luke 16:22, 25, to join the others, who had lived in hope and died in Christ, the following words of Benjamin Franklin a gospel preacher 1812-1878, from his Book of Gems, expresses my sentiments exactly, about a mother’s grave.

“EARTH has some sacred spots where we feel like loosening the shoes from our feet, and treading with holy reverence; where common words of social converse seem rude, and the smile of pleasure unfitting; places where friendship's hands have lingered in each other's; where vows have been plighted, prayers offered, and tears of parting shed. Oh, how the thoughts hover around such places, and travel back through unmeasured space to visit them. 

But, of all the spots on this green earth, none is so sacred as that where rest, waiting the resurrection, those we once cherished and loved—our brothers, our sisters, or our children. Hence, in all ages, the better part of mankind have chosen and loved spots for the burial of their dead; and on these spots they have loved to wander at eventide, to meditate and weep. 

But, of all places, even among the charnal-houses of the dead, none is so sacred as a mother's grave. There sleeps the nurse of our infancy—the guide of our youth—the counselor of our riper years--our friend, when others deserted us—she, whose heart was a stranger to every other feeling but love, and who could always find excuses for us when we could find none for ourselves. There she sleeps, and we love the very earth for her sake” Rev. 14:12-13. “A Book of Gems” by Benjamin Franklin, 1879, pg.140- 41. 

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Don Craven is a member of the McArthur Heights Church of Christ and can be reached at doncraven@juno.com