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By Paul Lewellan

I am a tombstone, hewn from a great mountain, chiselled and shaped so that I may roll into place. My purpose is simple: to stand between the living and the dead, to guard the ceaseless current that carries all souls from this world.

Once I knew a greater purpose, but I have forgotten it.

Two nights ago, when the sun was setting, red and burning, they rolled me aside. With heavy footsteps and labored breathing, two men carried a body into my tomb.

As they passed beside me, I heard them call the corpse, “Son of God,” but all I saw was the face of a child, abandoned by his father. As they laid him in the tomb, they called him, “King,” but all I saw was a dead man bound in linen and shrouded in the stench of blood.

When they left, they rolled me back into place, and once again I stood guard between the living and the dead. The earth grew cold beneath me, and the air clung to me in heavy stillness. The sun and moon rotated inexorably through the sky.

I wondered again what my purpose once was.

How could I have let myself forget?

Now, as night falls once more, soldiers arrive to guard the tomb. Their fragile hearts beat too quickly through the night. Their heavy boots shuffle restlessly along the earth. Though cloaked in armor, with weapons in their hands, they are afraid.

I feel the source of their fear: there is a strangeness in the air, the invisible presence of something Other, something More.

Their fear builds through the night until, as day stretches its red fingers through the night sky, they flee.

Once more I stand alone between the living and the dead.

Until suddenly behind me, in the stillness of the tomb, there is an inhale of breath. The man who was dead shifts on his bed of stone. His lifeless body stands. Blood-stained linens unravel from his scarred hands. He walks toward me. In the darkness he lays his hands upon me. They should be cold, but they are warm and calloused: the hands of a carpenter, the hands of a maker.

And then, like a hammer striking a bell, my stone heart remembers this touch.

When they laid Him down to rest, they called Him, “Son of God,” but I had not recognized Him. They called Him, “King,” but my stone heart was blinded by scorn.

How could I have forgotten?

But now I see, and now I remember. These are the hands of the Maker, the One who formed me in the beginning, the One who carved the great mountains with only the blade of His breath.

An angel rolls me away from the tomb, and the tide of death which I mark runs backward. The Maker’s life, singing with resurrection strength, streams back into the world that He created.

Once I stood guard between the living and the dead, but no longer. Once I marked the ceaseless current of death, but no more.

The One they laid lifeless within the tomb walks alive into the morning.

But here, in the stillness of the dawn, there is no earthly voice to proclaim Him. In the silent breaking of the night, no human voice shouts His return.

There is only me.

And so, into the rising sun I speak the name I once knew, but long ago forgot.




And my stone heart remembers its purpose once more.


Throughout her adult life, Margaret Bellers has struggled with Lyme Disease and chronic migraines, and through them has experienced God’s personal and unconditional love for her. She wishes to share her Savior and His love with others through her work. Her writing has been previously published by the Agape Review and Christian Standard.


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