Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassment (01/12/12)
TITLE: First Funeral
By Martha Black
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This was the first funeral for Langford’s new Baptist minister, Larry Barnes. He had only been in town for three weeks, and this was an excellent chance for him to meet more people than he would have had an opportunity to meet in many months. The funeral had gone well; his word of comfort still echoed in his ears.
As was common in most small towns, everyone pitched in to lay out an incredible spread of food. This was an individual and combined method of expressing respect for the deceased and comforting the loved one left behind by death. Larry filled his plate and mingled as he slowly ate his food.
People packed the house and spilled out into the yard under the spreading oak trees. Most of the townsfolk didn’t yet know him, and he hoped to make a good impression on them. As he moved from one group of people to the next, they regaled him with stories about Bobby. Larry began to feel like he had really knew this highly regarded man.
Larry worked his way back into the house looking for Connie, Bobby’s wife. When he found her, tears glistened in her eyes as she listened to Marijo Jensen telling her how Bobby had saved her son’s life one winter when he fell through the ice.
Connie turned and saw Larry as he came to give her a comforting hug. “Would you like to talk?” he asked her, though looking around he saw no place for a quiet visit. Connie took his hand and led him into the bathroom.
Connie perched on the edge of the pedestal tub, and with a sweep of her hand, she lowered the commode lid and offered him a seat there.
“Bro. Larry, I’m going to miss my Bobby dreadfully. We’ve been married for 35 years, and since we had no children, we were everything to each other.”
This was Larry’s first opportunity to counsel an individual enduring a real crisis, and he wanted to make it count. He shared his heart for fifteen minutes, calling upon the comfort of the Lord to comfort Connie.
“I cannot tell you how much you have touched my heart. But I do believe that I must go back out to my guests.”
She stood to her feet and reached for the door. As she opened it, habit overcame Larry’s desire to make a good impression, and his hand pushed down on the handle sending the flushing sound throughout the house…
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