Sunday, June 21, 2009

The other room

I attended a viewing last Thursday night for a teenage boy. It was held in a small funeral home about an hour away from my home. When we arrived, I noticed a long line forming outside the door and curving up the ramp. When I took my place to wait, I discovered the home was set up to accommodate two viewings at a time. The parallel door had another name on it with the same viewing times as the one I was attending.

No one stood outside that door.

When I got closer to the coffin, I found that the mother and daughter were comforting the visitors rather than letting them comfort them.

Surrounded by friends and family.

It struck me as I left and saw the many people still waiting to share their grief how easily it could be to end up lying on the other side of the building. In a room where no soul ever came to say goodbye.

A few posts back, I wrote about how I wanted to set up a meeting for the ladies in my church who wanted to get closer than a casual hello every week. I’m happy to report that our first meeting is going to be held this next Saturday at my home. I’m nervous, worried and way out of my box on this one but as a Christian, when God lays something on your heart, you need to act.

I’m asking you today as a writer or just an observer—is there something you should be doing to make a difference? Is there an article that needs writing? Is there a speech you want to give but have been putting it off?

We are gifted with only so much time here on earth. Put your passion to work!


Ginger said...

Terri you are so right. When God places something in our hearts we should do it. Thank you for illustrating this in such a way to really make me stop and think.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Write on, Terri!

Jody Hedlund said...

That's so true. We have to continue on with obedience in whatever God is placing on our hearts!

Lin said...

I'm working on it, taught a class to the women in my church today on family history and doing something to capture our ancestor's lives and our own!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Sorry to hear about the loss.

I was thinking of funerals just last week, wondering who funerals really were for. Certainly not the close family, as they're usually the ones holding everyone else up. Being strong for the receiving line. Always seems wrong to me. Wouldn't it be better to have a small, private funeral just for those family and really close life-long friends to just grieve, find closure and say goodbye without having to deal with all who barely knew you in reality?

That sounds selfish, I know, but really, do we want to put our loved ones through more agony when we die if they're not the type to socialize, anyway.

I love the phrase "live each day to it's fullest", and that means seeking God's purpose of the day out and trying to fulfill it. Awesome words of wisdom!

Jeanette Levellie said...


How sad. The contrast of the two viewings broke my heart.

I agree with Eileen: although my dad's service next Sunday will be a memorial, not a viewing, I am NOT looking forward to two or three hours of trite platitudes. Gregarious as I am, I would rather use those hours to sit with my mom and a few other relatives and tell funny stories about Dad's quirky habits, or how many people he led to the Lord through his Gideon work. But I ramble...

You are so right, dear: we do need to do what God puts on our hearts, especially if it's helping someone grow closer to Him. We dismiss the seemingly small things like saying "I love you" or giving a hug or writing a devotional, but usually those are the things that make a huge difference in someone's day, or life.

Great post! And, you'll do fine at your party; we are all very proud of you,

Sassy Granny ... said...

Yes. Yes. Yes! Seizing those opportunities (myriad) that God grants us to be salt & light. What a privilege and, once seized, what joy!

I love the saying: "God will not lead you where His grace cannot keep you". I'm thinking He's lead you to this momentous meeting, and that you will look back in utter awe at what He does through you.


Greg C said...

I am putting my passion to work this Wednesday. Well it is one of my passsions. That is so sad about the funeral. They do the same thing here and once I ended up in the wrong line. When I got to the front instead of a man laying there,it was a strange woman. I got out of there in a hurry.

Jessica said...

There are sad funerals, and then there are SAD ones. I'm glad that family had the comfort of other mourners.

Congrats on your house meeting. I think it will go great! :-)

KelliGirl said...

Your story is my greatest fear... That I would live a life that no one noticed if I lived or died. As Nicole Nordeman sings, "I want to leave a legacy."

There have been times I've wanted to quite writing because it's too hard, too time consuming, too discouraging. But God gave me the ability to put words together, I have no choice but to honor Him by using this gift.

I pray I am always receptive to His urges and prompts, even when they make me uncomfortable.

Good luck (although I think it already happened) with the gathering at your home. I think 9 out of 10 women want deeper connections, but few of them will take the step of faith to make it happen.


Jill Kemerer said...

How sad. For both families. I'm so glad you're taking action to help others.

Nancy said...

That is a good question to think about. Whether I am in the busy room or the empty one, I want to do what I have been called to do. To a certain extent, I have. I am bold in some areas. In others, I still need courage. I'm praying for the courage to do the out-of-the-box things that are scary for me. Public speaking is easy, working a crown, the worst.

T. Anne said...

So sad. It's true this long night will not last forever, soon morning will come and no man can work (quasi Bible quote)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

There's some work I need to get one tonight, even though I'm on vacation. I've been putting it off, and once the kids get to bed, I'm on it! Thanks for the encouragement to keep moving forward.

Glad for the good news about the "check" in the mail.


Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Good luck with your small group meeting!

I think I have shared with you before that have been meeting with a small group for 7 years now and it is one of my highest priorities in my week.

Just doing some catch up reading!!!