Contemplating link between heritage and faith

Published 1:11 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To the Editor:

You know, I have been thinking about the relationship between our “heritage” and our “faith” recently.

With the “Headstone” dedication ceremony earlier in June, I have been wondering why anyone would be so interested in their ancestors to locate gravesites that have been “lost” for so many years. What drives us as “sons and daughters of veterans” to try to locate our long-lost ancestors?

I recently went to Oakwood Cemetery to locate my ancestor, but I locate only an area but no headstone marking his grave. My wife keeps asking, “Why are you spending so much time trying to locate something that was not even a part of your life 10 years ago?”

I think the answer for me is much like my “faith.” How do I know who I am if I don’t know where I came from?

I found that many of my ancestors were farmers living in Southampton County before the War Between the States. They are buried in cemeteries throughout the county. So that satisfies, to some extent, my desire to know where I physically came from.

My “faith” is like that, too. I have been active in church for 45-plus years, and I think I know where my “faith” came from.

From my early years as a youth, I read the Bible and learned about the “history” of Jesus Christ from the Old Testament. This set the stage for the New Testament, which tells of Jesus’ coming and living on earth with men.

By doing so, He set the example that we all need to follow, loving God and each other. Through His death and resurrection, we are promised eternity with Him, if only we accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior, and ask for forgiveness of our sin and shortcomings.

Just as we take time to honor our “earthly” ancestors, we need to honor our “Heavenly Father.” We need to set time aside each day to spend in prayer. We need not only to pray for each other, but also for our country and for the men and women who are still dying to preserve our “freedoms” of which “freedom of religion” is one.

Each one needs to reflect on “who we are and where we came from.” God bless.

Wayne Cutchins
Urquhart-Gillette Camp
No. 1471–Sons of Confederate Veterans