I was very isolated in Tiny Village, here I am surrounded by colleagues, which is wonderful-- for the most part. I've had emails or facebook messages from several colleagues offering prayers and support as they knew about the death I was dealing with and how hard dealing with the death of a young person is. I saw a Local Colleague (as in his church is 2 houses and across the street from my house) from a different tradition last night at the visitation. I beckoned him out of the long line.
"I'm mad at you!"
He smiled knowingly and asked innocently, "Why?"
"Well because you go with the families to funeral homes and you host the visitations at the church, now I'm doing that!"
"It wasn't me, it was my secretary! She's the one who told Grieving Mom about our traditions!" Then he added,"When she told me, I said I'd be on your list." Then he got back in line and introduced me to his daughter and due in October grandson.
It added to the work of the week, but it really was a good thing to do, and I think it is the new tradition here. Our people worked hard and were here many hours ministering to the family and their guests. They all agreed it was a great way to do it. No one complained. We have decided we are going to write up what we learned and establish policies and guidelines. LC is going to bring me the written material he has next week when the local clergy gather for breakfast. I told him if he provided that, I'd forgive him.
Oh, and his secretary came up to me this morning, "I hear you're mad at me." We had a good conversation, and she's going to remind him that he needs to bring me material to our breakfast next week.
The visitation last night was big, as in line the whole length of the sanctuary out the door down the sidewalk and into the parking big. There were over 260 people at the service today, necessitating extra chairs and overflow parking on the grass. It went very well. The pianist said, "I've done a lot of funerals and that was one of the best. I'd say it was the best, but I don't want you to get a big head."
I am exhausted. It is a good exhausted. I know that God was at work here this week, and that good ministry happened. I know that the service today addressed the pain of the family and also celebrated the life of their loved one.
Daughter texted me this afternoon, informing me her day had been hell because they messed up her song on karaoke. I responded that had just done a funeral, reminded her how young the deceased was, and asked what kind of day she thought his family was having. She texted an apology.
She came home, storming in and slamming everything in sight, crying, being dramatic. Apparently the bus driver asked them to quiet down. I informed her that was the bus driver's right. When she saw I wasn't going to offer any sympathy, she dropped the drama and became cooperative, doing some tasks I asked her to do.
Now I need to go flesh out Sunday's sermon....