Friday, December 10, 2010

December Funeral


I am uncharacteristically dressed in suit and tie in the middle of the week; a telltale sign of the funeral I will officiate in but a few hours.

I imagine what most people are focused upon today: work, crossing things of a list, Christmas shopping, worry about what's for dinner, coming up with a witty tweet. But today I will help two parents bury their thirty-seven year old daughter.

I said to my friend, Sam, just this morning that I enjoy serving a family in this kind of a way; and truthfully, I do. But as I write this, I wonder if my soul secretly appreciates how a funeral redefines for me, what's most important.

I've been stewing and chewing on restless thoughts lately. But being the storyteller at the close of one's life makes me see how petty my unproductive thoughts have been.

I did a funeral last December as well. It's hard to view a December funeral apart from Christmas. It's the back drop for everything that happens this month--even funerals. There are the Christmas cards with the words, "Peace on Earth." Cards with a manger scene on a snowy night and the word, "Hope."

For the family laying a loved one to rest, hope, peace and the presence of the Christ Child come off these cliche cards and manifest themselves as profound truth and intersect reality.

At least I pray God will use me to that end today. And I pray the poignancy of this funeral will stay with me through the holidays.

Peace on Earth. Peace to this Christmastime.