We speak about “having hope” as if it were a substance one could possess, but after working in the cemetery, I think of it as space, a field to be cultivated. That field holds the treasure of eternal life; it’s the same one the merchant sells all he owns to purchase (Matt. 13:44). That field grants us the ability to accommodate all we encounter: the sorrow, the doubt, the suffering, the pain we inevitably face no matter who we are, where we live.

Ann Thomas helped people choose a cemetery plot, but she experienced much more.