My husband grew up in a home that also housed the family business – a funeral home. There were the usual jokes throughout his childhood about people dying to get in there. There were an abundance of stories that would make for hilarious reading. I know it isn’t really very respectful to find laughter in grief, but sometimes humor is the only way to deal with something like that
The family residence was upstairs and the huge basement was used for fun activities for the children. They had a full length archery range – room for a toy train set – a science and biology lab and even a place for specimens such as snakes and frogs living in the window well. There was also a family room in the basement for people to sit and smoke – something folks did a lot of before they found out how bad it was for them.
One day my husband (then about ten) had fed his pet frogs and snakes and left the window well door open. As guests were gathering in the family room for a quick smoke before the review of their loved one, a few snakes had escaped and slithered their way into their presence. The room erupted in shock, fear and panic. That was the end of the science lab.
Whenever we went on a date, we used the company car and would have to call every half hour in case it was needed.
Thankfully my husband never followed in his father’s footsteps. It must have been very difficult to face death on a daily basis, but his family held on to the hope of heaven and the price that was paid for salvation so they were able to deal with the sadness knowing that life really didn’t end at death.
How do we know what lies ahead for us? The Bible is full of references to death, but one that gives me the most confidence is when Jesus spoke these words to the condemned man that was crucified alongside Him. “And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43. Jesus knew this man’s heart at that very moment and promised that his faith would set him free from the pangs of hell.
It seems so simple doesn’t it? That’s because it is!