You know how some years you attend a lot of weddings, or a lot of women you know give birth, or you go to a lot of grad parties, sort of a theme year? Well I've just come home from the fourth funeral I've attended this year. I hate to think this is a funeral theme year. Even at the funerals where you don't know the deceased well you can't help but feel the sorrow of the grieving or remember those who are gone whom you loved.
Today's funeral was for the father of a former youth minister in our church. He was only 62 and had had an ongoing battle with cancer for several years. The former youth minister recently finished seminary and will begin his vocation in the pastorate. I was thinking that the loss he feels will deepen him. People who don't let grief embitter or engulf them can't help but become deeper people spiritually and emotionally.
I didn't tell him, because it was neither the time nor the place, but I believe grieving and understanding loss personally will make him a better minister.
Now if we'd all just let the blows that life deals us make us deeper and better rather than angry, hopeless or bitter.