I mentioned in yesterdays blog about the memorial I was asked to do for an infant of a young couple, the mother I’ve known for some 15 years or so, the father went to school with my youngest daughter.
That’s nothing I’ll ever put on a bucket list, ever!
I know it comes with the territory of ministry. I’ve done several memorials, celebrations of life, funerals, and yes, there is a difference between all those.
A funeral is the saddest because it’s just putting “a body to rest”, there is not a lot of hope. A memorial is pretty cool because there is hope and usually no casket, the person has chosen to be cremated, there is a difference when there is an urn and not a casket, or nothing at all.
Then there is the celebration of life. This is where there is real heartfelt hope that the person did not just die, they truly are in a better place. I believe that place is in the presence of the God of all Creation. Not everyone has this belief, I understand this.
My thing with this service was; How do I do a celebration of life/memorial service for a life that was only here on earth for such a short time? I was numb and at a loss for words as I prepared my notes for this.
God got me through it. I had many people praying for me. It went well.
Still, nothing I will ever put on a bucket list though.
Or the time at the graveside. It was immediate family only, then at the end, when the small casket was to be placed, it was just the couple, the funeral director and his wife, the cemetery attendant, and me.
We gave the couple a moment alone, and I was urged to pray with them. I can’t remember what I prayed, but I know they were words straight from God. I prayed, I hugged, I gave them some more time alone.
Again, nothing for a bucket list.
Then when it came time to place the casket, I don’t know what happened within me. The Holy Spirit took over for sure.
The director was addressing the couple and I stepped right in to help the attendant. I really just wanted to puke or cry by this point. I was not in control of what I was doing, God was guiding me.
I have never felt more like the hands and feet of Jesus than at that moment.
As we placed that oh so small pink box in the ground, I thought of my own little ones in my life. I thought I was going to lose it, but God got me through.
We covered it and the parents each placed a shovel full of dirt on it. An image i will never forget. Definitely not a bucket list item!
I do have many things to put on a bucket list and I’m thankful to God that I have the life to be able to say that…
Today marks the day that 19 years ago God delivered me and my wife from a life of drugs and all the crap that goes with it. (more on that in tomorrows blog, stay tuned!)
God has given me 6941 more days to enjoy this life He’s given me and He has equipped me and called me into ministry. And I know that all those ministry moments are not bucket list items, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything…
Because they came from God, my Creator who loves me, and that little baby too!