A small group of mourners were standing a small distance away from where men were shoveling dirt to cover the blue casket that had just been lowered. As I approached nearby I overheard someone whisper, “Who wrote the poem?” “Martha Currington wrote the poem.” another person replied. “The poem was good, but who is Martha Currington?” I couldn’t help but smile. After all, I hadn’t lived in the area for almost twenty-three years. Time has a way of changing personal appearance. I hesitated, then whispered to the group,. “I wrote the poem. Frank is my brother-in-law, and “Snow” is no longer my last name.” Then whispers of “ Oh Martha, we didn’t know it was you!” I stood briefly with them then continued on to be with my relatives. If they only knew how the devil tried to hinder “the poem”!
Frank had died suddenly and unexpectedly. My sister, Bonnie, had gone outside to hang clothes on the line. When she went back inside she found Frank on the floor. Nothing could be done. He had suffered a deadly heart attack at age sixty-six.
During visitation time at the funeral parlor Pastor Wilson and I held a casual conversation about my calling to write. He then asked, “Do you have a poem that I could read as part of the funeral service?” “I’ll check and see if I have anything appropriate.” .
This was so very important to me. I really wanted to do this , to offer something in memory of Frank, who had been a Christian many years. Besides, it was the first time I had been asked to use my writing gift locally.
Later that night I searched through my written work, but the file folder that contained my Christian poems was missing. “Please help me find it, God!” Eventually, I located the folder mixed among some other material. “Thank you, Lord!” I’ve just got to get better organized” .
I read through all the poems but nothing seemed “just right”. “God, what will I do? I’m so exhausted and sleepy!” It had been a very long day. Now, late into the night I had an important poem to write.
I knew that I couldn’t do it alone. “Holy Father” I prayed, “In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, please revive me. If it is Your will, let me receive the words you would have the loved ones left behind to hear.” Thus, “the poem” flowed through my pen. “Thank you, Lord.”, I whispered. I finally got into bed at one a.m.
Early the next morning, amid answering phone calls, I managed to type “the poem”. I checked my printer’s ink level. Low! “Please God, let there be enough ink to print this.” The printing turned out perfect. Now, time was getting away from me. I must get dressed!
I glanced at my watch during the drive to the funeral chapel. I should have eight to ten minutes for Pastor Wilson to read and decide if it’s what he wanted.. I silently pray, “If it is Your will Father, help me to get this to him in time to be read.”
Once there I rushed in the front entrance. Oh no, the service had already begun! I handed the paper to an attendant in the hall. “Can you pass this to Pastor Wilson?”
It was embarrassing to walk into the chapel late. As soon as we had found a place to sit, Pastor Wilson spoke, “I have a poem to read, written by one of Frank’s sisters-in-law.”
Death took our loved one from us
But is not the victor as he thinks
For God opened Heaven’s Gate
And sent His angels down below
To free Frank’s spirit
And guide him safely up above
Where God, with open arms
And with greater love
Than we mortals can comprehend
Welcomed Frank Williams in
Nevermore to have suffering or pain
Heavenly life is his eternal gain
And as Jesus promised
The Holy Spirit is here to comfort
The loved ones left behind
Offering hope and help
To lift the weight of grief
Until it is their time
To be reunited with Frank
Upon entering Heaven’s Gate
Never again having to separate
May our hearts be uplifted
Knowing just how much God cares
For Frank...and for us
Written by: Martha Currington
Heads nodded in agreement. Thank you, Lord! The devil had just lost another battle!
(Names changed for privacy)
Copyright 2004 Martha J. Currington