Feb 7, 2010

Funerals and Evangelism - Part One

The last week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. A close family friend passed away and the wife and daughter of the deceased asked me to take the funeral. I had never taken a funeral before and have never had any aspirations of taking one. Out of respect for the families wishes, I complied.

As I sat in the hospital with the wife and her deceased husband lying in the bed uncovered from the shoulders up, I realised that I was in for a challenging time. I sat there realising the enormity of the task before me. It suddenly dawned on me that I was now the families 'minister' in this situation, yet I was also a close friend who knew the deceased well. The family had an expectation that I would be the Godly representative in this situation. I so desperately wanted to represent the Lord in the correct way. I desperately wanted to say the right words, to be able to bring comfort and hope to this very sad situation. I was acutley aware that this family did not know God.

Here is the first lesson that I learnt: People are extremely vulnerable when a loved one has died and as Christians we must be people that protect the grieving at these times. The day after after my family friend passed away, I sat with the wife and the funeral directors. A coffin was to be chosen, flowers were to be chosen and other important decisions needed to be made. These decisions would cost the deceased wife tremendous amounts of money. Funerals are not cheap as I discovered. As I listened to the representative from the funeral company go through the necessary paper work and present the many products that they had on sale, I became acutely aware of how easily one could be manipulated at this time. Now, I am not suggesting that this was taking place yet I am saying that when people are grieving they are in a position of weakness that can inhibit them making rationale, solid decisions.

If there was ever a time for integrity and pure love it was now! As discussions took place I could see that the wife was not understanding everything being said to her. She was overwhelmed with grief and was simply not taking it all in. So, I sat there and as the times arose I simply repeated and clarified all that the funeral representative was saying to her. I did my best to protect her from wrong decisions and to ensure that her voice was being heard and respected in the situation.

It sounds so insignificant but on the inside of me rose a deep desire to protect the weak and be a voice for the voiceless - you get my drift hey! I guess I had a revelation of who Jesus was at this stage. It is so like Christ to come to the aid of the weak and the defenceless. I was just so happy to be able to be Christ in a small way that day. It was obvious that the love of God was reaching out to this poor grieving lady. The next few days proved to be days of revelation and learning for me. I will share more when I blog next time.

Let's Keep Reaching Out in All Situations,

The family did not attend church yet had some undestanding God.