Monday, May 7, 2007


Someone asked me if it's more difficult to do a funeral for a stranger or for someone you know. I think it's actually easier to write a memorial service for someone you don't know very well (or not at all), but it's harder to deliver the message for someone you know well.

I performed a memoral serve yesterday for a man I really did not know. I had met him once about a month or so ago - he was dying and his family called and asked if I would do his service when the time came, and if so would I come see the family so I could meet him. I drove out to a nearby rest home and met this gentleman who, through the rapid onset of some physical problems, literally watched his life slip away over a period of four and a half months. When we met, his family told me some things about him (a stroke had left him with diffficulty in communicating, so they did most of the talking that day). I knew there were all sorts of things I could ask about this man - what he had done for a living, his likes and dislikes and what not - but I really wanted to know just one thing, so I asked him. "Do you know Jesus?" He nodded yes, and I said, "Thats all I really need to know about you - becasue now I know you're going to heaven when this life is over. When you walk those strets of gold, you'll have no more tears, no more pain, no more sickness..." And as I talked about all of that, he began to weep. THese were not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy.

We had a nice service for him yesterday. It was a beautiful sunlit Sunday afternoon, filled with the hope and assurance that he was now singing for the Lord in heaven. I'd been told he loved to sing, and it made me wonder if all his singing here on earth was just his way of practicing for all the singing he'd do in eternity.