The following article was submitted to newspaper columnist Ann Landers by a lady named Kay from California. It involved Pastor Roger William Thomas. I hope it speaks to you in a special way about what it means when your time here on earth is over.

A lady member of the Pastor’s congregation was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given three months to live. She was placed on hospice care and asked her Pastor to come to her home to discuss her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at her funeral, and what scriptures she wanted read, and which outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Then she said, “One more thing… I want to be buried with a fork in my hand.”

The pastor was surprised.

The woman explained, “In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably say to everyone, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite time of the meal because I knew something good was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie with ice cream – something delicious.”

“So, I want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and wonder, ‘What’s with the fork?’ Then, I want you to tell them, ‘ Keep your fork, because the best is yet to come.’ ”

The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of appreciation as he left the woman’s home. He realized she had a better grasp of heaven than he did, and knew something wonderful was coming. Every time he dropped by for a visit, she reminded him of the “fork.”

Sure enough, at the funeral people kept wondering why she was holding a fork. When he rose to speak, the pastor told them of the conversation he had with the woman before she died. He said he could not stop thinking about the fork either, and knew lady wanted them to have the same question, and she was right. So when he finished his remarks at the church, and again at the interment, he told all those gathered there, “Keep your fork. The best is yet to come.”

The thing that stuck in my mind after reading this story is that having a fork in her hand would have had little meaning had she not been invited to the meals at the church she attended. The dessert only comes after the meal. So it is with our Christian hope for what is to come.

First, we must be called, and then we must be among the chosen. The meals that the Holy Spirit provides for us through the messages we receive are what make us long for the sweet dessert. So if you have that same longing for what’s yet to come it’s probably because you have heartily partaken of what’s already been served. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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