The Fork

TThere’s an old story about an elderly woman who was told by her physician that she probably wouldnt’live much longer. Soon there after, she called in her pastor to discuss her funeral arrangements. They talked about how the service would be, music she would like sung, scriptures to be read, etc. As the conversation was winding down, the woman remarked, “There’s one thing that’s very important: I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

Her pastor was understandably puzzled by that remark, and he couldn’t contain his curiosity. “That is interesting. Would you care to tell why?”

The woman explained. In all my years of attending church socials and functions where food was involved; my favorite part was when whoever was clearing away the dishes of the main course would lean over and say ‘you can keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming. When they told me to keep my fork I knew that something great was about to be given to me. It wasn’t Jell-O or pudding. It was cake or pie. Something with substance. So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder ‘What’s with the fork?’ Then I want you to tell them: ‘Something better is coming so keep your fork too.’ The pastor’s eyes were welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman’s casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over the pastor heard the question What’s with the fork? And over and over he smiled. During his message the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently that there is something better coming.

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