Shortly after the encounter, my friend called crying. Her brother had passed. She said her family wanted me to perform the funeral service. What? Huh? I told her I would definitely ‘be’ at the funeral. She said, “My mom wants you to officiate.” Wow. I said “OK” but got off the phone in shock.
Officiate? What does that look like and how do pastors prepare? Don’t you have to know the person in order to give a eulogy? I couldn’t share any funny stories or anything about him. I called my brother who is a pastor. He let me talk about fears and excuses, and he gave me guidance, assurance and scriptures for the ashes to ashes, dust to dust part of a funeral. He listened, I calmed down and he said I would be just fine. I prayed, sweated and knew Jesus had to be lifted up.
The day of the funeral dawned cold. I packed toys and books for my son and off to the mortuary we went. Yes, my stomach churned as we arrived. Walking in the door, I heard “There she is; we can start.” Secretly, I had hoped that in arriving a few minutes late I would find someone else officiating, like the funeral home people. Man, I love God! He will have you follow through with your assignment. I settled Brandon in a pew with his things to occupy himself. I had note cards to help me. Showtime.
Everyone came in and took their seats. The family sat behind a curtain to my right. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I set aside my note cards, looked straight into the people’s eyes and spoke from my heart. Even now, I am transported back to that room. I shared about my time with their loved one and my confidence that he stood in Heaven, reminding them that they too could join him one day if they choose to follow the Savior, and they didn’t need to wait till they their deathbeds to decide.
At the end, a few people came up and said good job. Thank God that part of the assignment was finished. We all rode to the cemetery, I said a short prayer at the graveside and dismissed the people. The family of my friend’s brother was pleased with the service. Wow, the things I have lived through. God is so good.
What is God calling you to do? Go out and do it, even if it scares you.