He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

During the 31 years I spent in 3rd grade, my classes were gifted with the opportunity to take a field trip to visit Independence Mall in Philadelphia, along with other
historical sites in center city. Upon occasion we also traveled to the Wrightstown Friends Meeting House in Wrightstown where the Walking Purchase Monument is located. The children were always mesmerized when they saw the cemeteries we encountered and what they called ancient tombstones. The tombstones were very simple and beneath the name of the deceased was his/her year of birth and death, which looked something like this, 1706 -1790. (these are actually Benjamin Franklin’s dates). What intrigued me most about these numbers was the dash!

In 1996 Linda Ellis, a relatively unknown poet, penned a poem titled The Dash. The poem explains how that small dash, or life, between the years is all that counts. How we lived is more important than how long we lived. Here is a small bit of that poem:
                                         I read of a man who stood to speak
                                         At the funeral of a friend
                                         He referred to the dates on the tombstone
                                         From the beginning……to the end
                                        He noted that first came the date of birth
                                         And spoke the following date with tears,
                                         But he said what mattered most of all
                                         Was the dash between those years.
                                          For that dash represents all the time
                                         That they spent alive on earth
                                          And now only those who loved them
                                          Knew what that little line was worth
                                          For it matters not how much we own
                                          The car………..the house………..the cash.
                                          What matters is how we live and love
                                          And how we spend our dash.
Perhaps we all need to think about our dash. It represents the good and the not so good, the highs and the lows in our lives. It also stands for the impact we have had on those around us. It’s been said that we will  meet at least 10,000 people in our lives. That’s 10,000 people with whom we can share our faith. That’s 10,000 people who can watch us do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God. What an awesome task! Think I will add this to my prayers tonight. How about you?
Heavenly Father, our God is an awesome God. Help us show and tell the world. Amen.

Barb Schneider

St. John's Ivyland
820 Almshouse Road
Ivyland, PA 18974
Rev. Brad Leight, Pastor