Stories from a cemetery

There’s a Friends graveyard across New Garden Road from the Guilford College campus in Greensboro, North Carolina. Max Carter, recently retired as the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies, leads tours of the cemetery (when he’s not leading tours to Palestine and Israel). This week in Fruit of the Vine, Max tells stories about  some of the dead “who, having led vibrant lives, need others to tell their stories now.”

Yesterday, Max wrote of Baptist evangelist Vance Havner – “qualified to reside in a Quaker burial ground through his wife, Sara Allred, born into a North Carolina Quaker family.” Tomorrow, Max shares the story of a mother and her three children dying together and the effect of this loss on surviving family members. This morning, Max introduces us to George and Emily Levering. They established the Friends school in Ciudad Victoria before returning to the U.S. from Mexico. George is remembered for his “stand against purchasing war bonds during the popular First World War.” Emily, for her service “at Guilford College as matron of a women’s cooperative residence hall.”

These stories Max shares don’t include any heroes. Just faithful people who lived the lives God gave them. Who did the work God called them to do. As Max puts it, life “was an uphill climb for the Leverings ... but their Christian witness led to mountain top experiences for many.”

I hope, someday, the same might be said for each of us.

Eric Muhr