So, I often joke/marvel/love the places I get to take my youth. I love planning new and exciting things that we will get to experience as a group. Never did I ever imagine I would take them to a funeral home.
We were planning an away trip for this past weekend. One girl who signed up to go was not able to join us last minute due to the death of her grandfather. The youth had all been looking forward to going for a few months and suddenly, the dynamic changed for all of us. We were leaving one of our own at home to go through something difficult on her own.
We left on Friday and vowed to keep the family in prayer throughout the whole weekend. Whenever we did devotions, prayed for travel or prayed for our meals, we lifted them up. The calling hours were planned for Sunday afternoon with no formal service. When it came down to it, our youth voiced their desire to be there for the one. They made the choice to leave the fun filled uplifting event early and go to the calling hours on the way home. So we did.
About an hour from home and the funeral home, I had the last second thought to have a talk with my youth about what to expect. As it turns out, this was a good thing, none of the youth had been to calling hours or a funeral home before. We talked about how to greet the family, how to express our prayers and sympathy. We even talked about how to view the body, which it turns out there was not one. We talked about how it was a great way to be the church to the rest of the family that did not know us.
When we got there, they all got A+ ‘s in funeral home behavior. They showed their compassion, their love, their faith, and their concern. They showed Christ. Even though this turned out to be the absolute strangest, most unplanned, saddest and most hopeful event ever, I would not have changed a thing.