Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Day for the Dead

September 12th, 2005

I spent way too much time with dead people today.

A few days ago, Dr. Stagno contacted me at work and asked if I could do the graveside service for a group coming up from VA for a burial. Although the woman had originally been from NYC, her family apparently didn't know any pastors on Staten Island, so they contacted us. Since Pastor Stagno had an appointment this afternoon, he asked if I could do it. Naturally, I agreed. It can be very difficult to do a graveside service for someone you've never met, with a group of people in front of you whom you've never seen before. I never was able to find out if the woman was a Christian, and I'm sure that many of the family were not. To perform a service, even a very brief one, that is both honest and compassionate is very difficult under those circumstances. I did my best, giving hope where I could, and presenting the gospel, while keeping the whole thing very brief in accordance with the request of the woman's son. Afterward, people came up and told me it was exactly what they wanted. I hope it was what God wanted; I think it was.

Shortly after I got home, my friend Jay called me. The father of one of the Farrell wrestlers I've coached had passed away, and the viewing was tonight. Apparently the dad had cancer for quite some time, but many of us never knew. It's not something you ask in a wrestling room: "So, what's your dad do? He doesn't happen to be dying, does he?" So of course I threw my suit back on, and headed back out to catch the train for the funeral home. These kids have seen more death up close lately than high school kids should have to. This kid's dad this week, and less than a year ago one of the most talented wrestlers on the island committed suicide, shocking everyone who knew him. I slipped Anthony my number on the back of a tract, and told him that if he or anyone in his family needed to talk, they could call me anytime. I'd like to be able to help some of these kids before I leave this place.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker