Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dark and rainy discovery...

(pardon the typos-different device being used)

It was basically night.  We had driven for several hours that day on our way to our final destination.  The plan was to stop half way on this trip, but right before the hotel, hopefully, if we had timed it right, to stop by the cemetary where he was buried.  But, we had to make it by nightfall I thought because surely the cemetary would be locked.  Given the journey involved 4 kids in the car, several breaks we needed, and we ended up reaching Princeton, with barely any sunlight left in the sky.  It had rained most of the trip, and it was raining.  We pulled up to the entrance of the very old cemetary, and it was open to my surprise.  First hurdle cleared...we then found the tourist's map, and it was not nearly as helpful as I had thought it would be.  Now, in a large, historical cemetary, with lots of graves, how were we to find it?  Two kids asleep, my eldest ready to help, we took our best guess at where it might be.  By now, it was dark...a few lights surrounded the cemetary, and the rain was falling.  I got out of the car, and started through a row of markers...to no avail.  I could not find it.  I briskly walked back to the car to find my wife looking at both the map, and her smartphone trying to see where it might be in the cemetary.  Tired children now stirring, I said, let's call it...we just won't find it, and I will have to be content with just having been in the cemetary where it was.  Then, I thought, with one other glance at the map, and my wife's encouragement, I will give it one more try.  I did, and headed in a slightly different direction.  Old above-ground tombs surrounded me, some were dilapidated, and I thought to myself, what are you doing in a cemetary in the rain in the dark?!  All the old crime shows and mystery movies stayed out of my mind, which was a blessing, as I've likely seen one where a murder takes place in a cemetary in the dark!  I found a neatly kept section...and then I saw the grave of Aaron Burr...I thought, this has to be it...given the relational connection he had.  Then, I stopped...stooped down, and there it was...rain was falling...and neatly kept, with an American Flag at the base...the marker of the grave box read..."Jonathan Edwards".  I briefly said a sentence prayer to God thanking Him for this brother's life and kingdom contributons.

I took a few pictures, quickly ran back to the car in excitement and I showed my son where it was.  I did this, so that I could stay with the car, as he quickly led my wife to see it.  I was happy...I thought we weren't going to see it.  But we made it to the Old Princeton cemetary, and we had found the section where former Presidents of the school were buried, and there it was: the grave of what was likely America's greatest theologian.  We got back in the car, and left.  It was dark and rainy, but we saw it.  

On the 20 minutes that remained before we reached our hotel, I told my eldest about who Edwards was...his mind, his work...his missionary endeavors...then I told him how because Jonathan Edwards was a philosopher, and daddy teaches philosophy, I get to talk about Edwards to students...and to do justice to his life, I have to tell those students about the gospel...

Lest you think this journey was me making a plgrimage to a shrine...it was a historian's quest to see this site where a man who meant so much to so many was buried...a site that will soon be opened as the King breaks through the sky, and a resurrection body is raised...a brother, and faithful saint laid in the ground in hope...in hope that one day, based on his trust in Christ, he would be raised.

Glad we saw it...