When you are the pastor presiding over the funeral, it’s always a good idea to show up a little early. You don’t want to come walking down the center aisle, past the family, past the deceased and right up on the platform ten minutes after you were supposed to be there.
With that in mind, I left home early to preach another funeral for someone I had never met.
I got to the funeral home about 30 minutes early. This was perfect because it would give me time to meet some of the family and find out the last minute details. One of the owners of the funeral home met me at the door.
“You must be the preacher. Right this way.”
I followed him to a large room where the family was mingling and where he introduced me to the daughter of the deceased.
“Ma’am, this is the Reverend Jay Sanders. He will be officiating the service today.”
The lady looked at me with pure disgust. Her disgust wasn’t directed toward me, it turns out, but toward her sister.
As she spoke, she turned into a pit bull.
“Why did she do this?! I told her I would get the preacher for the funeral but she wouldn’t listen. Now we’re going to have to deal with two preachers! I’m sorry, Reverend. This is not your fault. Let me go talk to my sister and straighten this out.”
Off she stomped to do some straightening.
The owner gave me one of those this happens all the time looks and he told me to follow him to the room where the actual funeral service for this man would be held.
And that’s when I almost had a stroke.
The funeral director said that this was a man’s funeral.
I was supposed to do a funeral for a woman.
That’s when he told me that I was at the wrong funeral home.
And that’s when I had a stroke.
Now that lady that gave me the disgusted look earlier was really disgusted. I hope she was able to work things out with her sister. Ladies, if you happen to be reading this, please accept my sincerest apologies.
I raced frantically to the owner’s office to get directions to the funeral home where I was supposed to be. The owner and his staff sent me on my way with their best wishes and a few laughs. They were the ones doing all of the laughing.
So much for being 30 minutes early.
Several minutes later I was parked at a gas station asking a guy who spoke a different language than me for directions to a funeral home that I was supposed to be at five minutes ago. That didn’t work out too well.
I was able to call the funeral home where I was supposed to be and explain my situation. They told me not to worry because the family was having some sort of dispute at the moment. If you’re keeping score, that’s two families I’ve wrecked so far in one afternoon.
Finally, I made it.
I got out of my truck, walked inside the front door of the funeral home and eventually down the center aisle, past the family, past the deceased and right up on the platform. Ten minutes after I was supposed to be there.
This time I had the right funeral home.
One out of two ain’t so bad.