Sometimes I feel like Advent makes me act like an undertaker, but then I remember Rose Sunday.
I heard a story about pointing to that light that is to come even in sorrow at a funeral on Thursday. It is very Chicken Soup for the Souly, but a good story none-the-less. There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. As she was getting her things in order, she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.
Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.
"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.
"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.
"I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand," she told him.
The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.
"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.
"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. “In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew something better was coming . . . like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful and with substance!' So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, "What's with the fork? Then I want you to tell them, "Keep your fork . . . the best is yet to come."