My sister and I were very much church brats growing up. We weren’t pastor’s kids, but my first ever friend (and, for a few weeks in the fourth grade, fiancée) was. My father was head of the Sunday School (by second grade it was my job after church to run across to the school whose premises we used for Sunday School and unlock the classes before the others arrived) and organised all the church youth camps while my mother cooked for them. My first bee sting was at one of those camps.
The second Wednesday of each month was spent playing on the church office floor while my mother received the offerings collected by the deacons during home visits the previous week. Sunday mornings I sat with my dad among the elders, and my sister sat with my mum in the choir gallery.
This is going somewhere, promise…
It was a beautiful day, it was a terrible day. It was a day of celebration, it was a day of mourning. It was a day of great joy, it was a day of deepest grief.
There were two funerals in South Africa on Tuesday. One was for a great man who had touched the lives of millions. He had passed away at a ripe old age, having achieved in his lifetime what he had set out to do. He died peacefully in his bed, surrounded by his loved ones. And while we are all sad that he is now gone, Tuesday was marked by a spirit of celebration as we remembered a man the like of which comes around perhaps once in a generation, if we’re lucky.
The other funeral was for a mother and daughter who were violently ripped from this earth in a senseless accident on the highway. Their deaths were sudden and unexpected, their lives incomplete. There was no celebration at their funeral. Instead, there was wailing and sobbing, and the daughter’s former colleagues singing hymns as the coffin descended into the Earth to remind her loved ones and themselves that God was there, even if it didn’t feel like He was.
I attended the other funeral. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Funerals”
Wow! Two posts in one day. I know, right? But I saw this and it was simply too good not to share immediately (and not just because it features one of the most spectacular pieces of music ever composed).
So, it’s an advertisement for a bank (they call it an homage to their city…sure) and the bit with the girl was probably set up, but that does not make this video any less powerful.
Because the truth is, the smallest of gestures can often put great things in motion. A smile. A kind word. A miniscule act of self-sacrifice. A moment of putting another first. An instant of compassion.
There’s this thing called the law of unintended consequences, usually applied to economics or politics, but it has bearing in our everyday lives as well. That small act that you deem insignificant, that you maybe not even perform intentionally, can potentially have consequences that are infinitely bigger than the original act.
You might never see those results, but trust that your actions do have consequences, even the little ones.
So start paying attention to those little things you can do every day to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how small. You might just be surprised at the result.