Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)
TITLE: The Last Laugh
By J Soriano
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A member of my congregation had such a request. His grandmother passed away and although she, as well as the rest of his family were members of another church, they wanted me to officiate “Granny’s” final services. I knew nothing of her. I’ve never met her or the other family members, just the grandson who put in the request.
A week before the scheduled event I had a chance to meet his aunt; the woman in charge. I gingerly tried to persuade her to seek their home church Pastor to do the service. After all, he was thoroughly familiar with them and in my opinion, would be more personable. My attempts proved unfruitful. I was to be the one. That was the only time I’ve seen or met any other family member.
Leading up to the service I gathered as much information as I could from the only source I knew; the grandson in my congregation.
On the day of the funeral I was caught up in traffic and made it to the mortuary 20 minutes before the service was to begin. Rushing out of my car, I proceeded to the chapel. I looked for a familiar face and found none. The crowd was abundant with family and friends inside and out. I decided to seek out the funeral director. I introduced myself and informed him that I would be officiating today. He replied, “Oh good you’re here. I’ll be right back with the necessary paperwork.”
Having nothing else to do, and having many strange eyes upon me, I proceeded to the front to pay my respects. There was one family member there silently weeping. Although I didn’t know him, I wrapped both my hands around his, gave a gentle squeeze, and offered my condolences. I then approached the coffin. “So this is Granny.” It was the first-time I’ve seen her. She had exceptionally long hair. Perhaps I could reference it in my remarks. I stood alone and said a silent prayer. I then left the casket and waited for the funeral director to return. A few people came and asked if I was the minister and then thanked me for being there.
It’s now 10 minutes before we start. The pews were being filled. I anxiously wondered where the funeral director was. I soon caught a glimpse of him speaking to a group of people who are staring my way. He walks over and politely asks me again who I was and my purpose for being there. I hastily gave him the information while trying to remain patient. He then informs me that I was at the wrong funeral! Granny’s viewing is at chapel #2.
I am now red with sweat beads dripping down my face. As I dash out to the right funeral, my cell phone rings. It’s Granny’s grandson, “Pastor, everyone is being seated and we’re almost ready to begin. Do you need more time in prayer?!“
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