When is a funeral not a funeral? When a 9-year-old boy is allowed to share stories about his grandfather.
Rev. Wendall Hodges was a dedicated pastor who had touched many lives with his open heart and loving concern. A stroke did not deter him from returning to his pulpit and continuing to preach the gospel.
But that’s not what had impressed his grandson. Jonah remembered the $5.00 bills he had been given to stop fighting with his brother. He confessed that sometimes he “acted up” just to get the cash. He would miss the money.
Suddenly the funeral home was filled with a new sound: the ring of laughter. The somber tone was gone as others recalled the “real” Wendall Hodges, as seen through the eyes of a 9-year-old. Jonah revealed a joyous fact: the family sense of humor was no doubt hereditary.
Life can be filled with many burdens. Tragedy and human need abound. But those who float to the top of the slough of despond are those who can find a reason to smile. Somewhere in every dark cloud there is a spark of incongruity that shines through the gloom, if only for a moment. Look for it.
Laughter can break the tension, relieve stress and lift the spirit. It is truly a gift from God to help us through the hard times. Remember: God himself sits in the heavens and laughs at those who presume to rebel against Him (Psalm 2). Trusting Him, we can join in the laughter.
Even at a funeral.