Your One Word

Life is short. Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. Life ends. And what we came to do must be done while there is time.
~ Max Lucado

Driving along a lonely two-lane road in the middle of Nowhere, Tennessee, I spotted a small, fenced-in cemetery randomly placed in the middle of a seemingly endless uncut field. At first I passed it by, dismissing it as meaningless scenery. But as I drove on, I felt the unmistakable urge to turn around, go back, and take a closer look.

The world seemed different the moment I stepped from my car. I felt unwelcomed as the wind rushed through the trees and the birds’ screams grew louder with every step, like they were protesting my very presence. My feet cut through the tall grass as I made my way toward the weathered, wrought iron fence that enclosed a handful of unkempt gravestones. Most of the markers dated back to the late 1800s; men, women, couples, even a child was buried there.

But one particular stone caught my eye, gripping me with a single word: “Mother.”

We don’t think about it much, but this is our time. It’s no accident. We were born and we live in this exact moment in history. We all search for some deeper meaning: Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing?

I bent down and parted the grass around the stone that read “Mother” and I wondered if I was looking at more than just a word. I wondered if I was staring at a purpose. And I wondered if she realized that while she was here.

I walked back to the car thinking about how often people feel worthless, indeed how many times I feel worthless. I thought of the woman with the one-word stone. And I wondered, if we could choose our own one-word stone, what would mine say? What would yours say?


Maybe you’re not Moses. Maybe you’re just Mom. And maybe that’s enough.