February 18, 2008


During Lent in 2007 the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, in conjunction with the Open Hands Ministries (a web site for the Open Hands and the United Methodist Churches in the Ligonier Valley, PA) posted forty days of Lent devotions. This year, I will repost one every five days, with links to additional devotions at the end of each reading.

SCRIPTURE: Mark 14:8 She (an unnamed woman) did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. (NIV)

REFLECTION: Jesus was supportive of the simple but elegant gift given by an unknown woman. He explained its symbolic meaning: she was preparing him for his burial.

It puts me in mind of a recent conversation I had with my friend Russ. Somehow, we began talking about our funerals. I said I thought it would be fun to attend mine, to have it before my actual demise, then after my demise let it go. He immediately asked me if I could keep my mouth shut long enough to enjoy the party.

Not one to be outdone, I knew what I could do. I’d given him numerous writing assignments, but this one would be the topmost assignment of his life. After all, he was always calling me a bohemian (he really did mean it nicely) and different from your average “run-of-the mill” person, someone he liked because of it.

“Russ,” I began to the man who liked to write poetry, “I have an assignment for you.”

He groaned because he never knew what would come out of my mouth.

“Russ,” I continued, ignoring his sound effects. “I want you to write my eulogy.”

After he stopped choking, he laughed.

“This could be fun,” he said, relishing the idea, and ready to knock me out at the end of 1999.

“No,” I said. “I have to at least experience year 2000.”

I then suggested he knock me off sometime after December 2003, allowing me time to live in the 21st century and enabling me to reach my sixth decade.

He agreed. At the moment of this writing I’m still waiting for the writing of Russ’s life, an assignment was all in fun.

I realize we don’t know the hour of our death nor can we make any predictions. A eulogy was not the end goal of this assignment: fun and challenge was. But it was a fun way to prepare for my funeral.

What will you do to prepare for your funeral? Who will write your eulogy and what will it include?

Prayer: Lord, let someone love me enough to pour perfume on me to prepare me for my death. Help ease my journey to the new life of the unknown. Amen.

(This Blog Post was read at least 24 times in the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, Vol. 1)

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