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FIRST-PERSON:’We still enter the graveyard; we just don’t stick around’

KENNER, La. (BP)–In the early days of the World War II, after Germany captured France, the French people were in a strange situation. Part of their country was free and unoccupied by the enemy, while much of it — including Paris — was occupied and controlled by the Nazis.

To escape into Free France became the goal of many Parisians tormented daily by their captors.

Etta was an American living in Paris at the time of France’s fall. Three years later she wrote a book, “Paris — Underground,” to tell the world about life in Nazi-dominated France. I own a copy of that book. One little incident she relates fascinates me. You’ll see why.

In a certain village near the border dividing Free and Nazi-controlled France, the citizens began noticing some unusual goings-on-at the local cemetery. Every time there was a funeral, far more mourners went in to the graveyard than came out.

There was a good reason.

While the main gate of the cemetery lay in occupied France, far to the rear was an old forgotten door on the ancient wall, which opened to unoccupied territory. Those who entered the burial place weeping and mourning walked right on through to the other side and emerged into a land of liberty and life.

Think of that as a metaphor for Easter. By his death, burial and resurrection, Jesus opened a gate in the rear of the cemetery. We still enter the graveyard; we just don’t stick around. There’s a whole new world out there just waiting.
McKeever is pastor of First Baptist Church, Kenner, La., whose cartoons also are featured at BP Life Lighter Side, at www.bpnews.net.

    About the Author

  • Joe McKeever