A Call to Action—”Wake Up, Sleepyhead!”

by Lisa on April 3, 2012

The service is over. The grief-impaired people stay silent. Pew by pew, the mourners are beginning to be dismissed. The rows at the front of the church are let out first. The people stand, turn, and exit the wood-benched area they have been sitting in. They quietly shuffle toward the two sets of double doors at the back of the church—side by side, shoulder to shoulder, body to body. They do not utter a word.

A bottleneck develops at the doorway. The bereaved are forced to slow down. The same two sets of doors that were a clog at the beginning of the service have now become a people dam.  The anguished quietly wait for one another to move through obstruction.

As the masses crawl past me at a snail’s pace, I watch their tear-stained, sullen faces. No smiles, only deep sadness. More people move by. More profound sorrow. It’s almost unbearable. Being acutely in the scene being played out before me, I think back to my own Mother’s funeral. To the difficult heartbreak. To the cruelty of death. To the bad-dream quality of it. The unplanned for. The unthinkable. The unwanted,  But, yet, the inevitable—for us all.

I refocus on the people milling past. Drawn. Tight. Anxious. My mind screams, “People wake up! This will be you too someday! You are going to die! You are going to experience the unplanned for, the unthinkable, the unwanted! You are en route to the inevitable! You will be the one that people mourn over, grieve over, anguish over! What are you doing with your lives? Did you not just hear what the priest said? There is hope!”

Face after face. Story after story. Life after life. I see someone’s sister. Someone’s son. Someone’s mother. Someone’s uncle. Someone’s wife. Someone’s child. Someone’s daughter. Someone’s friend. Someone’s lover. Someone’s dentist. Someone’s waitress. Someone’s contractor. Someone’s insurance agent. Someone’s teacher. Someone’s doctor. Someone. Anyone. Everyone. All headed toward the unplanned for, the unthinkable, the unwanted. All moving toward the inevitable.

I want to run, grab each one of these mourners by the shoulders, shake them and yell, “Wake up! Wake up! This is not it! There is more!”

“There is hope, people! There is promise, people! There is joy, people! There is freedom from the inevitable! Did you not hear the priest’s words? Did they not resonate with you at all? Do you want hope? Do you want joy? Do you want freedom? Did you hear his words, people? Cling to them! Trust them! Believe them! He did—the one you mourn for. He did. HE DID! And, he is alive! Free from grief and sorrow. Free from life encumbered. Free from pain and suffering. Free because he trusted. Free because he believed. He is free! Alive, and free, in Christ Jesus. Hallelujah! And, praise God he did!”

“Wake up, sleepyhead! Make yourself uncomfortable! Force yourself to think about the inevitable! Do it! Do you want hope? Do you want promise? Do you want joy?”

“Do you want freedom from the inevitable?”

—What do you believe?





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