The First Funeral

As a young minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a graveside service for a homeless man, with no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at a cemetery way back in the country, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost; and being a typical man did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew, who was eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight.

I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and stepped to the side of the open grave, where I saw the vault lid already in place. I assured the workers I would not hold them up for long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I poured out my heart and soul.

As I preached the workers began to say "Amen", "Praise the Lord", and "Glory"! I preached and preached, like I'd never preached before: from Genesis all the way to Revelations.

I closed the lengthy service with a prayer and walked to my car.

As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another, "I ain't never seen anything like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for 20 years."

Posted January 25, 2008 8:00 AM

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