As I finished up my first visit today, I started up the truck to get the AC going and got my phone out of the center console to quickly check my messages and emails. One immediately got my attention. Someone had called the church just after I left and wanted a Lutheran pastor to pray over the body of his mother-in-law who had suddenly died just a day before. I had no details, but the request was somewhat urgent as an autopsy was scheduled and family wasn’t around. I got in touch with the caller and then the funeral home. It would be just me, to say a final prayer of committal, something very important to the daughters.
Just like that, I was done. The funeral director and I thanked each other and I headed out to my next appointment. Before I drove from the parking lot, I sent the fifty-second recording of my prayer to the son-in-law, so he could pass that along to the family.
Later, I typed her name into the search bar of Facebook and found her page. She was my age, a local business owner. Family and friends had already begun to post condolences and memories on her timeline. I reached out to the family, offering my help and encouragement.
Sometimes God punctuates our lives with moments that remind us of the power of His mercy in life and in death. Even if I never hear the rest of this story, I am glad I could be a part of it.
Update: That wasn’t the end of the story. I had a chance to sit down and talk with her husband for a while and then meet all her children the next day to share some memories and say a prayer.