We have a graveyard of sorts about 150 yards south of our house. It’s just past the t-intersection where our street ends at a busier street. Among the tall grasses and ponds, there are no headstones or memorials to the birds, amphibians, turtles, or even a muskrat that passed on in the yards nearby and were returned.

Unfortunately, there are other things there that I’m directly responsible for.  It’s difficult to talk about, but here goes…  At least 2-3 pairs of winter or work gloves, a mobile phone, garden trowel, and most recently this week, a 3-foot-length of dowel rod used to exercise my repaired shoulder. Fortunately, I found the dowel before it became a permanent resident!

You see, I have a recurring bad habit with consequences… When doing tasks in or around the garage, I’ll often set things down on the convenient flat space on the rear lift gate of my car. You know the rest…  After I’ve forgotten doing so and made a left turn at the end of our street, whatever’s on the back gets launched into the far curb or disappears into graveyard, broken or never to be seen again. I know, tragic story!

Anyway, I am reminded that every human being is made in God’s image and has incredible dignity, value, beauty, strengths, and capabilities that function alongside struggles with weakness, inconsistency, selfishness, fears, and failures.  Our habits with consequences can launch us into the graveyard of messed up thinking, saying, and doing in the relationships and responsibilities entrusted to us.

Fortunately for us, Jesus is very familiar with struggles in the graveyard. He finds us when we’re there, knows how to help us get out, and empowers us to live well beyond the graveyard in the power of his incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. No magic formulas or words, just humble faith in Jesus and following forward with the rest of us.  Let’s get to it and keep at it!