How surprised that gentle man must have been when, reaching high with his tennis racket to catch a high lob in the bright afternoon, ready to return it with an overhead smash, the sun shot a bright beam laser-like into his heart, stopping it forever.
It was a Baptist funeral all the way, complete with a lively tent revival style hymn. Click here to listen, then imagine it played faster and with more of a bounce. Buck and I stood, but declined to sing.
The preacher used the service opportunistically to evangelize, even to the point of having the diverse congregation bow their heads and close their eyes while he enjoined them to come to Jesus, closing with a request for anyone who made a commitment to the Lord during that prayer to quickly raise and lower their hand. “Thank you over there, and over there, thank you.”
The whole thing left me with ashes in my mouth. I realize this service was for his family and their faith traditions, and that it’s entirely inappropriate for me to quibble about funereal style points. And yet, I can’t help wishing we had paid tribute to the memory of our friend in the silence of our hearts alone.