“The Spirit of GOD, the Master, is on me because GOD anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken.” Isaiah 61:7
On Christmas Day, I took one of my Humble Beginning books and a tin of Christmas cookies to meet my new neighbors, John and Marie (ages 83 and 85). A few weeks later, John got double pneumonia and died. That night, Marie said, “We don’t want a formal church memorial service, but would you do a small service for John?” I said I would be honored to do something for the family and friends.
Later I wondered what made me think I could say something to the family and friends that would give them peace and hope during their grief. Then I remembered the small, graveside service I did a few years ago for my mother-in-law when she passed.
I read Psalm 23 from The Message and prayed for her eternal life and for peace for those grieving. Then I offered every family the opportunity to place a rose on the grave and to spend as much time as they needed to say, “See you later, Grandma.” After the funeral home director placed the urn in the hole, the grandchildren spontaneously gathered in a circle. With their bare hands, they gently filled the hole and smoothed out the rich black soil. The funeral home director said it was the most beautiful graveside service she had seen.
Lord, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to assist me in my ministry. Amen.