As I sit here and write, my daughter is in the tub, the NASCAR race is on the TV and I am more tired than I have been in a while. I was up very early, baking bread and making potato salad for a funeral. I did not sleep well last night due to consuming some ice cream that had coffee in it. I kept my husband up. I do not think I will do that this evening.
The person who died was a Lutheran pastor who was retired, but still would cover in our church if need be. He had parishes within Virginia in the past, but our church was where he spent his retirement. I knew him as a delightful person who was never without a smile. He and his wife would be a constant in our church.
It was obvious how much this man was loved and revered by the many pastors, the bishop and previous parishioners came to the service. I was amazed by the amount of people. The pews were filled. I arrived 10 minutes before the service and had to hike from across the street at the middle school, waddling the whole way. It was one of the first time there was NO seating within the sanctuary and I was relegated to the Narthex. There were a few good things about this, I was able to get up and use the restroom without disturbing anyone. I was able to hear everything just fine, but the crowning jewel of the day was at the very end I was in the Narthex and I was concerned that I would be standing there singing the last hymn and be in the way. Nothing could be further from the truth. The many pastors who came to this service were circled in the Narthex singing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" along with me. The voices in the Narthex rivaled the ones in the sanctuary in their breadth and depth and I was moved to the point of tears. These men and women were singing their hearts out in celebration of a man who lived a long and full life and now has gone to the best reward; a good and faithful servant.
The choir did an anthem of "In Thee Is Gladness" as well. Another song that has a personal meaning and spirit for me. It was the song we sang at my first wedding. Even though I have heard it many times in the past 14 years, it will always be important to me.
Songs have a way of connecting people to a time and event. It is something about the shared space of belonging that is binds us together. A type of solidarity that will never be broken. You remember things when they are connected to sight and smell and song.
I sometimes wonder whether I should look further into pursuing a more rewarding line of work. It would be my wish to help as many people as this man helped. To inspire as many as this man did. Not because I want to see that many people at my funeral, but I guess the desire is more to be a blessing to those who need it. I suppose I don't need a line of work for that... but the calling seems to be there... just not sure what it is saying to me.
I know this is outside my usual posting of fitness and making myself into a better person... but perhaps it works...