The monotony of your life lifts a moment.
You look around realizing you are walking past the same graveyard you see on your way to work every day. Since you have never noticed it, it is as if you are seeing it for the first time.
You see a beggar standing at the corner of the graveyard holding a sign which exclaims “wanting.”
With this one word he is communicating the state of his being. You hate him for it. For this beggar has dared to cast his burden of want onto you.
You know you must either throw this ugly burden back to the earth or help him carry his want.
You hate him for forcing you to this decision.
What right has he?
You throw his want to the ground and walk on.
The next day you accidentally catch sight of him holding the same sign, “wanting.”
He is very thin and his clothing is well past worn.
You scoff at his condition and blame him for it. As if it is fault his body compels him to want food, to want water, to want covering.
You kick the burden of want you left there yesterday and walk on.
The next day you see him again holding the same sign, “wanting.”
A twinge of compassion plays at your heart. This time you stop to look at the burden of want at your feet.
It is dirty. You tell yourself someone else will help him. And on you walk.
For a while you take bliss in ignoring the man and his sign.
Every day you step over the burden and avert your eyes from want.
Slowly the man at the graveyard wastes away.
You know but will not let yourself think that if his bodily needs are not met, he will fall into the grave stretching before him like a shadow.
This time, you trip over the burden and are forced to face the want.
If his want is not met he will fall into the grave. However, there is another want which neither of you know. It is the want of the soul for Christ, and this grave is deeper than the grave his body lands in, for it reaches eternity. If this need is not met, he will sink into a land where his body and soul will never stop wanting.
You quickly get back up and walk on.
Today something has changed. Today he is watching you while you watch him want.
This time you pause. You cannot tear your eyes away from him.
You tell yourself the same things you have before. That he’s not really wanting. That it is his fault he’s wanting.
But still you cannot tear your eyes away. And so you watch him want. You watch him want to death in this moment.
He gives you one last pleading look and falls backward into his waiting grave.
His sign falls above him and lands at the head of his grave.
That one word which killed his body and his soul is now his gravestone “wanting.” You turn away from the sight with relief, your soul divided no longer.
But what’s this?
You turn to find you are on a corner of a graveyard.
You feel you are holding a sign facing people who you are depending on for your life.
You slowly look down to see that it says,
Panic wells inside you. You cannot escape. Your body decays and something else, your soul.
You long for something more than bodily needs.
You are trapped; forced to rely on the mercy of another who might respond to your sign “wanting.” Time passes and you grow weaker. You look behind you to see the grave ready to catch your corpse.
You force yourself to stand so more people will see your sign. You feel the pull of the grave growing stronger.
The hope which keeps you from yielding to its pull wanes.
You look up to see someone watching you.
They move toward you and give you bread, water, and the truth of Christ’s salvation.
You taste the bread and drink the water glorifying Christ.
Right before you succumb to the pull of the grave, you look down at your sign and realize that it now reads,