“We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.” Psalm 124:7
A few yards from the door of this chapel lies the grave of Samuel Griffin, the first person to be buried on this spot. He died on October 11, 1792, accidentally drowned in the lake at the age of four years, six months. On his stone, you can still barely pick out the epitaph verses:
Happy infant, early blest
Here in peaceful slumber rest
Early rescu’d from the cares
Which increase with growing years.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I find that epitaph hard to swallow. It’s hard for me to imagine those as the words chosen by his mother, the ones that seemed to fit best as she held him dripping and cold in her lap at the shore of the lake.
I guess it just sounds too easy. Killed tragically while still a young boy, his whole life ahead of him—is that “happy infant, early blest.” I’m sure they tried their best, but no one could save him, he had to die in such a frightening way—is that really “early rescued from the cares?” Surely these words would speak only to someone who wasn’t ready to be honest about the real devastation of such a death—surely they’re trying to put a bright face on things when everything is falling apart inside?