Graybill and Cecelia

by DanWolgemuth on October 8, 2021

I stood at the gravesite. The place where a marble stone represents two lives that touched me deeply. At the very core, my grandparents, Graybill and Cecelia are the reason I am able to draw a breath, but in a very deep sense, their lives informed much of my earliest perspectives on what God was like.

Graybill Wolgemuth was quiet. Distant. Unengaged. He seemed sad and withdrawn. He was devout. Structured. Organized. Not particularly interested in the pulse and play of a grandson.

Cecelia on the other hand, was involved. Intensely involved. She painted a picture of God that cast him as a tyrant. The secret police. Holy, and on the war path.

She was gritty and determined. An iron will that kept her alive until she was 105 years old. Her ambition was clear. She was preparing a resume for God.

There were two sections in the resume… what she did for God, and more significantly, what she gave up for Him.  

Her resume required daily attention. A misplaced word, at the most inopportune time, and presto, you’re off God’s list. Forgotten. And worse, condemned. Unwelcome in Glory.

I stood. My mind spinning. My soul stirring. A three-month sabbatical had focused the beam of my theological attention on the grace of God… and now, here I stood, surveying a grave and pondering my own resume.  

Did I have two sections on my resume? Was I consumed with what I had done, and what I had avoided?

Was I preparing and rehearsing my own script to recite to God some day?

As Mary and I slipped back into our rental car, a silent heaviness accompanied me. Grief. Not for me, but for anyone who believes that a personal resume could ever suffice.

Don’t misunderstand me. We have a resume. All of us do.

For everyone that God welcomes home, there is only one word on our resume. One name, to be precise. Jesus.

He is my credential.

His accomplishment, not mine. His sacrifice, not mine.

Therefore, I am compelled by Christ to authentic acts of justice, compassion, sacrifice and love. His name is enough to ignite me. His grace controls me. And my obedience highlights His resume, not my own.

If I reach for a pen to write down an act of obedience, then I’ve immediately discredited what I’ve done, and more importantly, why I’ve done it.

Three months of sabbatical came to a close at the side of a grave. How fitting. How telling.

There is only one grave that matters. One man. One death. One victory.


Freedom. Liberty. Joy.

“For me to live… Is Christ.”

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: