This startling declaration came from the back seat of our beige 1982 Ford LTD as we sped down the 4-lane highway, completely unmindful of this oft-spoken of and highly anticipated, upcoming event. So un-watchful was I that my head twerked (half twirled, half jerked) completely around as I exclaimed, “Say WHAT?”
“I saw it!”
Somehow the car was staying on the road.
“People coming out of their graves!”
There were five of us in the car but I was the only adult. All eight of their eyes were on me as though I was supposed to know what to do when this happened. Instead, the car, completely of its own accord, was losing speed and altitude very rapidly as I descended from the main highway and coasted to an unsettling stop at the bottom of the exit ramp. I looked back in disbelief at the somber face of my teenaged daughter. All of her wide-eyed siblings were staring at her, too.
“You don’t believe me Mama, but I promise you there are people coming up out of their graves of that church back there.”
“Is this like the time your sister saw the sun and the moon sitting together in the sky?” I asked.
“Well I DID!” that sister insisted, as she had for many, many cycles of the moon now.
“No! This.really.happened! I PROMISE!” This daughter was almost convincing us.
I looked around the intersection. Cars and trucks were speeding across an overpass above us and some were unhappily waiting behind us. We needed to make up our minds whether we were going to jump out and leave this world behind or move out of their impatient ways. We moved uncertainly out of their ways, drove in silence beneath the overpass and re-entered the highway above to re-trace our path, back past the church where people were coming up out of their graves.
Now, to take a short rabbit trail in this very true short story, let me stop and reassure you that I am a believer in Jesus Christ, and I am as certain of His second coming as I am of His first. I also believe that when He comes it will be sudden and no one will be expecting it at that precise moment. But, as this story reveals the truth of my heart, I really did not believe that my daughter saw real people coming up out of their graves, although I also knew that she wasn’t lying. Maybe she’d seen a Halloween prank that had gone to seed? I really had no idea.
“There they are, Mama,” my ashen-faced daughter pointed toward the cemetery where she had seen graves opening up and the dearly departed resurrecting from them.
Again, our vehicle was rapidly losing speed and we were all staring hard at the old, well-filled cemetery. Sure enough dirt was flying up out of a grave. Then a shovel came flying out, and next a grave digger jumped out, dusting himself off as he picked up his shovel after a job well done.
As you can imagine, lots of laughter filled our old car as it picked up speed again and re-joined the busy, scurrying world.
This has been another one of our family jokes for many years now and always amuses us. But seriously – do we really believe in the Second Coming of Christ? Yes! Emphatically we all say yes! So why did we not believe it when it was announced from the back seat of the LTD? Maybe because we weren’t seeing HIM? All prophecies concerning the Second Coming will be fulfilled on that day and according to the Scriptures every eye on this vast planet will see HIM when He returns – in the clouds. Then all of the dearly departed who died in acceptance of our Lord Jesus Christ will, indeed, resurrect and rise to meet Him in the air. There will be quite a lot more happening at that moment than only a little dirt flying out of one grave.
Yes, we were skeptical that day but maybe that wasn’t so wrong. And maybe that was not a sign of unbelief but of firm belief, after all.