Monday, October 10, 2005

The funeral

As a young minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a grave side service in a new cemetery for a derelict man with no family or friends who had died while traveling through the area. The funeral was to be held way back in
the country.

This man would be the first to be laid to rest at this new cemetery. As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost. Being the typical man I didn't stop for directions.

But when I finally arrived an hour late, I saw a crew and a backhoe, but the hearse was no where in sight.

The workmen were eating lunch. I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, (who looked puzzled) I stepped to the side of the open grave, to find the vault lid already in place. I assured the workers I would not hold them long, but this was the proper thing to do.

As the workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I poured out my heart and soul. As I preached the workers began to say "Amen. Praise the Lord and Glory ...."

I preached, and I preached, like I'd never preached before.

I began from Genesis all the way to Revelation. I preached for two hours and 45 minutes. It was a long and lengthy service. I closed in prayer and it was finished.

As I was walking to my car, I felt that I had done my duty and I would leave with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, in spite of my tardiness.

As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another. "I've been putting in septic tanks for 20 years, and I ain't never seen anything like that before."