I did a 'trade funeral' today.
A trade funeral is when the family wants a minister and doesn't have one so the funeral home calls around.
When I first retired, I got a lot of calls. Not so much recently--but Kevin knows me well and when a special needs man needed a religious person, he called me.
Christopher was born with many physical and some minor mental problems. His parents were told he wouldn't live until his 20th birthday. Instead he lived to 37, many of those years in a semi-autonomous way in a group home. He had jobs, was in the Special Olympics for years, touched many people.
I got there early to talk to his father and saw how many people came to the funeral home to speak to his family.
Christopher must have been 'special' in several ways to have so many people love him.
Even Kevin told me that in his conversations with Christopher's father he wondered 'who really gave the gift to whom'.
Christopher's mother is dead but his father was with him all the way. Learning as much, if not more, from his son than he taught.
I often quote St. Francis of Assisi in funeral sermons. Francis said, "death is not a door that closes, but a door that opens and we walk in all new...."
For us still on this side of that wondrous door, death seems like a door that closes. But my prayer is that for the one who dies, they enter into the presence of the One who loves them best of all and are made all new.
I certainly pray that for Christopher. That he was made 'all new'.
All new...all new.....
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