My friend’s mom passed away this week. The funeral is today, over an hour’s drive away. Should I go?
Well, let’s see.
I have an appointment on my calendar for this afternoon and a work to-do list as long as my arm. Leaving would mean loss of income. Is this wise?
I’m tired. Bone tired from a crazy-busy week, no, make that month, on top of restless nights with too little sleep.
I had no personal relationship with the deceased. I only met her twice. Ever.
So am I going to drop everything, waste the day, and attend the funeral of this woman I don’t even know?
You bet I am. All because of the actions of someone 45 years ago.
I was 14 and my grandfather had just died at his home in Waycross, GA. I’d never seen my parents in such a state of grief before and I felt overwhelmed by the viewing that took place the night before the funeral. The shock of seeing living, breathing Granddaddy dead – my first time ever; having to say good-bye to a cold corpse in a coffin; standing for hours on end to greet people I’d never seen before as they came and went, paying their respects.
My mother’s tears. My father’s pain. It was awful. Awful.
And then the morning of the funeral, there they were. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I found myself smiling through my tears. Amidst the sea of strangers, appeared the warm, familiar faces of our next-door neighbors from home.
We weren’t expecting them. But they’d gotten up before daybreak driven all that way to lend their support.
My parents lit up like stars on a cloudless night. I could see them drawing strength from the mere sight of these friends who’d gone above and beyond to simply show up. To offer their presence.
So I’m going to the funeral today. “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NIV).
Is there someone you feel led to go above and beyond to simply offer your presence to this week? Trust me, it will mean the world to them.