YOU’VE SEEN them by the side of roads: flowers, plaques and markers. Often taped badly to traffic lights and to fence posts. Ragged, faded old bunches, or bright fresh wreaths. Imperishable plastic poppies.
They speak of grief, these roadside memorials of all kinds and colours.
In the 1940s, the Arizona State Highway Patrol began using white crosses to mark the site of fatal car accidents. Since then, the practise of leaving flowers and other tributes at crash sites has spread across the western world. These “roadside shrines” commemorate a site where a person died suddenly and unexpectedly, away from home. The memorial marks the last place on earth where a person was alive.
Most of us will know someone who has been killed in a car crash. Maybe you yourself have left such a roadside tribute.
We all deeply feel the loss of those close to us. And God understands all about this. The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept”. It was because of the death of his friend, Lazarus. It’s one reason Christians share bread and wine together every week: to remember the death of Jesus and the sacrificial love he showed for us all on the cross. It’s a mark of love and respect and gratitude for a truly unique life.