Saturday, February 9, 2008

My Mother's Funeral. . .

My mother died on February 2nd around 4:30 a.m. We had the funeral service for her yesterday afternoon (Wednesday February 6th) at a local funeral parlor. What a tremendous day. All day long I was overcome with the kindness and love people showed for my family. What a holy day filled with love. Many many friends from my work, lovely brothers and sisters from church, family members whom I hadn't seen some in decades, staff members from Greencroft nursing home where my Mom had resided for nearly 8 months. . . even now. . . too much to think about. I replay the day remembering, savoring the tremendous kindness and love and ministering given toward we who needed it so dearly. I say it again. . . what a day. . . what a tremendous day.

I believe that the ripples of this day will be felt for. . . in some cases for eternity. Numbers of wonderful things happened as a result of yesterday. My Mother's spiritual leader, a good friend of mine Kermit Weaver and his wife Mary were there. Kermit baptized mom May 24th of last year. Kermit spoke. He gave us a message of encouragement and hope in the salvation and forgiveness of our sins through the redeeming power of the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross. I did not instruct Kermit on what subject to speak upon. He asked me for input and I told him with no compromise to let the Lord lead him for how ever long and in what ever direction the Lord wanted him to go with the message. I asked a man of God to speak at my Mother's funeral. I am surely not going to tell God what message I needed to hear.

Prior to Kermit's message, we had a powerful time of testimony. We heard from ladies who had ministered to my mother from a local church and a chaplain at Greencroft. We heard a wonderful testimony from the staff at Greencroft. Three of the staff showed up. . . what kindness. . . what compassion. . . what love. . . words are not enough. . .

There surely was loss and sorrow yesterday, but the balm of healing love was so thick. . . so powerful yesterday at the funeral. . . I was not at all prepared for the dinner at the church. I was again overcome. . . the preparations. . . the gathering room at the church was wonderfully setup. . . the tables set with place setting, and decorated with Mom's name and little words of encouragement and words of her relationships printed out, cut up and distributed all up and down the many banquet tables. The food. . .wonderful casseroles, meats, drinks, cold cuts, desserts. . . Jackie and I have made hot dishes for funeral dinners before. . . never realizing how healing and nurturing those wonderful foods were. We needed the comfort. . . we needed the fellowship. . .we needed so much and we were provided in abundance beyond our dreams. . .


The kindness of so many wonderful brothers and sisters working. . . sacrificing for our benefit. . . I weep now remembering. . . I hesitate to name names fearful of overlooking someone and causing regret when I desire to give a blessing, but I saw. . . I saw. . . I saw and more importantly my family saw. . . they saw and felt the love. I was maybe a little prepared, but they were overcome. . . the comments I have recieved from them. . . thank you. . . thank you. . . thank you. . . . . .

George, Mom's boyfriend, asked to see the sanctuary. I took him upstairs. We were up there for more than half an hour walking around looking at things. George just took it all in. . . The presence of God was so strong. . . I was overcome with God's spirit. . . The air was so thick. . . it was powerful beyond belief. . .George wanted to know all about the church. . . did we have a choir. . . who sat in the balcony. . . what the drum cage was. . . He inspected the steps on the altar. . .How many people did it hold. . . when was it built. . . lots of other things. . .a hunger. . . a thirst. . . a curiosity. . .I saw him again tonight. We dropped off some of Mom's things at his house. . . He hesitated a couple of times. . . I think maybe fearing rejection. . .then asked me if I would like to go out to eat some day. . . "Yeah George. . . we can do that. . .How about tomorrow night. . . ." I weep again. . . please pray for me to be able to minister to George. . . ripples spreading. . .

When Jackie and I were picking up Mom's things on Monday night at Greencroft, one of the nurses noticed the prayer box and CD's that I gave Mom for her Christmas present. . .Jackie asked her if she would like it. . . she was touched by it. . .tonight another nurse asked if I were the same son that read the Bible for mom on the CD's she had seen when she went up over Christmas and visited Mom at Elkhart General Hospital, "Yes I am. . ." I asked her if she would like a copy of her own. She hesitated, not wanting to ask, maybe not wanting to admit, but I can see it in her eyes. . . wanting. . .hungering . .She said that she's pretty busy and doesn't have time to read the Bible, but she has a CD player in her car that she can listen to the Bible on her way to and from work. . .she would really like that. . . . ripples. . .^. . . ^. . .^. . . ripples on the pond. . .


I talked to another man today who didn't know Mom very well. He came to Mom's funeral and stayed for the dinner at the church and more. . . He came on a whim rather than anything else. . .He said yesterday was one of the best days of his life. . .He felt so uplifted and encouraged. . . ^. . . ^ . . .^. . .

Please join me in prayer for these seekers, for these who hunger. . . for a mighty wind of God's Sprit that will arise and blow and turn these little ripples into mighty waves that will change the course of lives. . .

I love you my God. . .

Thank you my Lord. . .
Thank you my God for brothers. . . sisters. . . saints. . . angels among us. . .

Thank you so very much all. . .


Dave Stokely

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