My first chore after stumbling into the washroom some mornings, is to look into the mirror and use all my powers of persuasion to convince that person I see that she’s alive and needs to report for work.
A few weeks ago someone told me about a similar conversation. He’d called an office he’d dealt with before, to request information about his account. “But I noticed,” he said, “that the woman at the other end didn’t seem to want to talk to me.”
It turns out the lady had a good reason for her reluctance. “According to the computer records,” he said, “I became deceased last year. I’ve been dead for months! She just didn’t want to talk to a dead man!”
It’s exhausting business, trying to convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced that you’re not a corpse. Afterwards, he hung up the phone and decided he needed a rest—but not before breaking the news to his wife. He told her she shouldn’t ask him to help with the chores anymore, because, after all, “dead men don’t work!”
Ignoring my chuckles, he carried on, “And’ya know the worst thing about all this?”
“I missed my own funeral!” He sounded downright indignant.
I may have too. Within a few weeks of a move to a new community, I turned on the radio just in time to hear announcements of local funerals. A few seconds later, I stood, horrified, listening to the date, time and location of the “funeral for the late Kathleen Gibson.”
Timid phone calls began trickling in almost immediately—a few of our new congregation members, wondering, I suspect, if they’d trucked in their piano-playing preacher’s wife for nothing.
Me again: “Hello?”
Them: “Um…is that you, Kathleen?”
Me: “Hmm…think so. Last time I checked.”
Them: “Whew! I heard…(cough)…well, I thought…well, the radio said…(sighs and hesitation)…So you’re not dead, then?”
We found it funny after we got it all sorted out. No, I didn’t mind if they didn’t attend my funeral. I’d be too busy myself, working at something or other. And as we all know, dead people don’t work.
One day my desk chair will be empty of the crumbling shell my spirit called home for a few years. Reports of my death will start trickling out. The phone calls will be genuine. People will say I’m dead.
Don’t believe it. All this time? I’ve been on a God-assignment. When I’ve uttered my last word down here, I’m going home, people. Gonna live with Jesus. Gonna get a new body and a heavenly assignment.
“Absent from the body…present with the Lord,” the Bible says. Christ-followers will be more alive after death than ever before.
Fabulous. No more arguing with the mirror, and no more funerals.
Meet me there?
Even though none of us will be present at our own funerals, most of us have an idea of how we’d like to be remembered, and many of us will be required to plan a service for a loved one. Before you must, make time to check out these helpful links:
https://www.mywonderfullife.com/ Inspired by the premature death of a beloved husband, this site is a place where you can collect all your preferences in one place, making it easier for your grieving family.
http://www.godweb.org/planfuneral.htm A basic “need to know” article for Christians who, faced with planning a loved one’s funeral, have no idea what to do first.