As a pastor I get to do a lot of things. One of the things I seem to be doing lately is officiating memorial services, funerals, and graveside services. Don’t ask me why. Can’t explain it. One of my friends always says, “When you hear the trumpet, it’s time.”
There’s a time during these services where I invite people to share remembrances. I usually try to get the family to pick 3 or 4 people ahead of time. They can be family members or friends. Sometimes there’s silence. Other times, the remembrances can go on for a while. I hear some pretty amazing stories of love and grace. I’ve seen people shed tears and express gratefulness for their departed loved ones. The remembrances are really a time for the family. I almost never want to rush anyone because of the obvious presence of God in the midst of suffering.
Yesterday, I officiated a memorial service for a lady who wore many hats, wife, mother, and grandmother. She was an interesting lady, I didn’t really know her well. I’m sorta sad that I didn’t know her. She lived a long life on this earth. She also collected rocks. From what I’m told, her and her husband have an amazing rock collection. Apparently worth lots of money. I’m not surprised they had a rock collection. They were real, honest, human beings, not afraid to tell you the truth. They were rough around the edges and weren’t afraid to be themselves. They’ve lived in this valley for a long time and both have an interesting story.
It’s kind of cool when you get to be around people who are real, honest, and unashamedly themselves. The church is at its best, when God’s people can gather together unashamedly and without hesitation, be who God has made them to be. It’s actually refreshing when people can be themselves and let down their guard in a way that show’s the world that we are truly “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I walked away from the service with this one thought.
What if for one day, I let things go and trust that the God who loves me and sustains me is able to deal with the parts of my life that are rough around the edges? Isn’t this where we see and experience the one who redeems us and cares for us?