a prayer service and psalm 100.

1 Jun

A psalm. For giving thanks.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

I read this psalm today at a funeral. It’s part of my role in funerals – I’m the lesson reader. I looked the lessons up before the funeral, just to read through them once, and when I turned to this psalm and began reading, I made an audible “aw.” I like this psalm as a funeral text. A lot. It’s not always the easiest to proclaim and praise God following a sudden death of someone we love but the promise contained within the psalm is central to our reliance and strength in God amidst such suffering. I like-y.

It was Dorothy’s funeral. Dorothy who I was just supposed to visit last Thursday only to find out she had been flown to the hospital in a nearby large city following a heart attack. Dorothy who was the very first to show up the intern meet-and-greet when I first arrived in September. Dorothy who was half of the “cozy couple.”

I led the prayer service for Dorothy last night at the funeral home. As a part of the prayer service, there is a time of sharing. With some services, the sharing will last twenty minutes – twenty minutes of friends and families sharing stories and memories of the one who has passed away. Some services, no one speaks. When no one stands to share, it’s a little awkward … and I thought that was where last night’s service was going.

Then Jake marched forward and stood in front of the gathered group. Jake was one of my third graders when teaching Wednesday release time. A boy with a sweet heart and great sense of humor. Jake told of how Dorothy would give him candy in church. She would pull pieces out of her purse and hand them to the children sitting around her. He told of how, at Halloween, his friends would go to her house and get little pieces of candy but when he stopped by, he would get a Mountain Dew and a big Butterfinger. Then he told of how Dorothy was like another grandma to him and he started to cry a bit.

So then I started to tear up. I’m a social crier. If other people around me are crying, I’ll cry and can’t help it. I teared up because Jake was hurting at the death of his “third grandma.” (Children hurting and in emotional pain make Lindsay a puddle.) I also teared up in thanksgiving of Dorothy and the effect she had on Jake. Dorothy didn’t need to carry candy around with her to give to kids in church. Dorothy didn’t need to give Jake a big candy bar or take an interest in his life. But she did and look at the relationship that grew between her and a ten year old boy.

Further proof that the smallest of actions or the simplest words of kindness can make a difference and foster a relationship.

Go do that today.

One Response to “a prayer service and psalm 100.”

  1. Sara June 28, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    This post makes me mush. A+, pastor Lindsay.

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