"What an idiot!"

As a pastor, I am asked often to conduct funerals and memorial services for loved ones who have passed away. Understandably, this is one the most difficult times for a family and friends to experience. I meet with families and friends to plan the service and to ensure that the family’s wishes are carried out and that the service will be a celebration of the life of the loved one.

Over the years I guess I have performed well over a hundred funerals or memorial services. Most of the services go off without a hitch. I share memories of the person’s life, family members and friends speak, sometimes there is music – a song sung by a friend or a special guest, and I share a message from the Bible on God’s Love or what Heaven will be like.

Then there are times when the best laid plans can’t prevent something from happening that to be honest, you really wish wouldn’t happen. Recently a family asked me to conduct a funeral for a lady. I met with the family and they shared some very fond memories of their mom. One story was that she referred to her children and close friends as idiots. Now mind you, she did this in what they called a “loving way.”

The funeral service at the funeral home chapel went well. I mentioned this story during the service and a lot of folks laughed, knowing that story.

Did I mention the day of the funeral it was pouring down rain? In fact it rained all day! After the chapel service we proceeded to the grave side. I had an umbrella so it wasn’t a problem going from my vehicle to the tent covering the grave.

People huddled around the grave trying to stay dry either under the tent or an umbrella. I said a few words and a lady sang an old gospel hymn. While she was singing I noticed that the tent was sagging right over where I was standing. Just then, I gust of wind blew through the tent causing the gallon or so of collected rain water to spill off the top of the tent and like clock-work, a gust of wind blew through the tent in the opposite direction causing all of that water to blow back on me. I was soaked from head to toe. Water was dripping off of my suit.

Everyone saw what happened and there were smiles and giggles. The lady singing didn’t miss a note and finished her rendition of the song. I thanked her for the song and thought for a moment. I then said, “She is looking down from heaven and thinking, Pastor Steve, what an idiot!”