Or perhaps not.
How many funerals have I done? Were they fun? Not one.
But were they tenderhearted, memorable, andâ€”if not a Hollywood happy endingâ€”a way to provide some solace for the living who eventually retreated from the freshly turned earth?
I hope so.
Several years before wearing my official ministerial robe, before a Bishop laid his hand on my head to bestow ordination, a seminary professor assigned me to Presbyterian Church in Southern California. A student pastor, I shadowed church staff to witness their work. I probably had to write a paper about my experiences. Thankfully, any paper I wrote was lost. However, decades later, I have a note from that churchâ€™s associate pastor. Near the semesterâ€™s end, he told me to wait in his office while he scribbled on a blank 3×5 card.
â€œHere,â€ Bob said (and his name was Bob), â€œThis is what youâ€™ll need for the funerals of folks you wonâ€™t know.â€
He handed me the card.
â€œTrust me, Larry,â€ Bob continued, â€œyouâ€™ll do lots of funerals for people youâ€™ve never met. Just keep this card in your Bible, and youâ€™ll be ready for any of â€˜em.â€ Continue reading →