What a night! My husband was on twenty-four hour call at the funeral home where he works as a Director’s Assistant. Being a retired Baptist pastor, he is able to carry out his work responsibilities and duties at the funeral home as well as offer comfort to families in grief and perform services when needed. When he finally got home last night around 9:45 PM, he ate a quick snack and headed off to bed. Around 1:00 AM, the telephone rang. It was the funeral home. There was a death and he was on-call to go. He was up and off again. After kissing him goodbye, I turned on the burglar alarm and headed back to bed. I think I must have fallen back to sleep pretty quickly; that time! At 4:05 AM, I was suddenly awakened to the sounds of the burglar alarm squealing loudly in the wee morning hours. I think I went from lying prostrate on the bed to standing straight up in a panic in about two seconds flat! Thankfully, it was my husband returning home. He had forgotten to disengage the alarm before opening the door. Talking about an adrenalin rush! I certainly had one. He went straight back to bed and was snoring loudly within five minutes. Not me; I couldn’t fall back to sleep at all. Like all good “Baptists” (ha!) I tried praying my way back to sleep. You know, when you go to bed tired and start praying only to wake up the next morning never having finished your prayer! I like to think that if I die in my sleep, at least the last thing on earth I was doing was praying! Well, this time I didn’t fall back to sleep during my prayers, so they got longer and longer and longer. I prayed about everyone I knew and every situation I knew of. Then, I became overly concerned about situations in my life that I do not possess the power to change. So, I prayed for strength and courage to face and accept those things in Jesus’ name. Then, I began to feel a very deep sense of grief for those whom I know are hurting and facing tremendous trials in their lives. I prayed for them; one by one. I was suddenly becoming quite overwhelmed with my thoughts and prayers. I begin to quote scripture after scripture thanking God for his many blessings. Still awake. I started to get up and read, but I knew my stirrings would awake my husband. So, I chose to continue to lie in silence, as thought after thought flooded my mind. Somewhere along the way, I honestly think I went back and asked forgiveness for every known sin I had ever committed all the way back to first grade; knowing full well they were already under the Blood of Christ Jesus. Finally, it was six o’clock and time to get up and fix my husband’s breakfast before his returning to the funeral home for the day; another twenty-four-hour work day. I don’t know what tonight might be like, but if it’s a repeat of last night and this morning, I might need to get a nap in sometime today! However, no matter the circumstance, serving others is always a blessing. I am proud of my husband’s newly acquired profession and the many hours that he and the others at the funeral home dedicate to families in their time of grief and sorrow. They make a difference; and people appreciate that. But, we sometimes forget how service to others can interrupt our personal lives and daily schedules. I know our three daughters are certainly aware of this. I am reminded of the year when our twins (now thirty-six years old) turned thirteen. We had a big birthday party planned at a nearby restaurant. Everyone was excited. As we were about to exit the house for the party, our phone rang. It was a church member where my husband was the pastor at the time. An unexpected death had occurred in their family and the family member who had died did not have a pastor or church affiliation. As my three daughters and I stood waiting on their dad, I could hear his end of the conversation and was realizing that our plans were about to be interrupted. When he finished the call, he turned around to explain to our daughters that he could not attend the party as he was needed elsewhere in a time of critical need. All of my little girls hugged their dad’s neck and told him that they completely understood. Instead of attending their own birthday party, they accompanied their dad and me to the family’s home of the loved-one who had died. It was a sixteen-year-old boy who had skipped school that day with a bunch of friends. He and his friends had gone to a nearby lake where they were swinging from dangling ropes from treetops into the waters. Unfortunately for this dear young man, as he let go of the rope believing he would land in the lake waters, he fell upon a bed of rocks at the edge of the water killing him instantly. For the next several days, our family, including our daughters, tried to provide as much comfort to the family and tragic situation as possible. I was proud of my daughters for their understanding and giving hearts. Today, all three daughters continue to serve the Lord along with their own husbands and children. Our youngest daughter is a pastor’s wife, too. Serving others may interrupt our plans, bring forth sleepless nights, and tiring days, but in the end there is no greater service than serving others. Today, if you know of someone who might need a friend, a little encouragement, a smile, a call; do so. Give of yourself. After all, it could be you who will one day stand in need. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35 KJV.
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T. Rollins, Author