Today I went back in time. To a place I haven’t visited since I was eight years old.
I came home today and asked where my parents were going. They told me an old pastor friend died and tonight was his funeral. From my memory this man had always been old. He was my friend’s grandfather. The thought of him passing never crossed my mind though. He was a person who always was. He was a pastor from the church my family used to go to in the 90’s. I had my childhood at this place, and it was where I learned about God.
When I step in to the building I began to recognize the decorations. The cross that hug in the middle of the altar with a purple robe around it. The banners declaring, “He is the King of Kings.” Even the pulpit that I used to draw over and over as a child in church. The room was full of chatter, everyone who had ever called that church home was there. My fellow classmates where now grown adults with small children hanging on them.
My parents and I said our condolences to the family and made our way to the back to find a seat. As we passed rows and rows of people, I began to recognize faces I hadn’t seen since I was a child. Some people looked the same and others had aged dramatically. As service started, they began to singing old christian songs I hadn’t heard since I was a small kid. They had no graphics for the words but then again they had sung these songs for twenty years, even I knew all the songs by heart.
The pastor’s granddaughter and I used to play “church” when we were little girls. We would wear my mom’s dresses and sing all the church songs. There was this one time when my friend’s grandfather preached and said, “It’s time we stop playing church.” We looked at each other and said, “Oh no, we can’t play church anymore!” I laugh now, knowing that he meant to no longer pretend to be a christian. haha..
Since this funeral was on their normal church service, they took up an offering. Their tithing envelope was exactly the same. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I even told my dad, “Look!” He then said, “Theirs the 10%”, and pointed to the cut out pieces of the coin. Here was my dad, teaching me the principal of tithing, as if I were once again eight years old looking at the picture. I asked for an envelope so I could keep it as a memento.
Oh what memories a funeral can bring back. How amazing one’s life can impact a crowd.
Today, I went back in time and visited my childhood church family. It was great seeing everyone again. I wish we were all still together. But life happens, and everyone’s journey changes through time. Even though today everyone there said good bye to a great pastor, I really said my goodbye when I was eight. For me, that was the last time I saw him.
Even though we don’t know when someone is going to die, the same could be said about not knowing when someone we love might exit our lives forever. I find both are painful.
Here is a great song to leave you with: Autumn Leaves