When I was a young minister, a funeral director asked me to hold a grave-side service for a homeless man with no family or friends. The funeral was at a cemetery way out in the country. This was a new cemetery, and this man was the first to be laid to rest there.
I was not familiar with the area and became lost. Being a typical man, of course, I did not ask for directions. I finally found the cemetery about an hour late. The backhoe was there, and the crew was eating their lunch. The hearse was nowhere to be seen.
I apologized to the workers for being late. As I looked into the open grave, I saw the vault lid already in place. I told the workers I would not keep them long, but that this was the proper thing to do. The workers, still eating their lunch, gathered around the opening.
I was young and enthusiastic and poured out my heart and soul as I preached. The workers joined in with, “Praise the Lord,” “Amen,” and “Glory!” I got so into the service that I preached and preached and preached, from Genesis to The Revelation.
When the service was over, I said a prayer and walked to my car. As I opened the door, I heard one of the workers say, “I never saw anything like that before and I’ve been putting in septic systems for twenty years.”
Apparently, I’m still lost….
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