At 9:00 this morning, 40 high school age kids met at our church to take a day trip to the Warren Dunes in Michigan.
At 10:00 this morning, AL’s funeral started at our church.
This scheduling meant that as the kids were arriving, so was the hearse. As people were gathering to say goodbye, the kids were gathering to play. As some people were dressing up, the rest were dressing down.
Because I sometimes get to tell people where they can go, I had the youth gather in a gym rather than in the main hallway. And the people coming to the funeral were relaxed about the adolescent energy.
They gathered to celebrate the life of a woman who died at 88, having buried two husbands, enjoyed life, and loved God very much. The funeral was serious but not somber. Her stepson, who became her ‘step’ when she remarried at about 82, made us laugh as talked about getting to know her during her last years.
On the other hand, the kids aren’t laughing so much right now, as they sit in vans, eating their lunches, watching it rain.
Part of the balance in my life comes from watching kids walk past hearses, hearing kids talk about doing things for God and watching the funeral of a woman who did. The anticipation is always fun to hear, knowing that the intentions will soon run into reality. However, hearing how intentions became reality across eight decades is satisfying and challenging.
At 51, I’m halfway between the 88-year-old and the 14-year-olds. I’ve had lots of intentions. I’ve lived a lot of reality. It’s not too late to shape the latter by refining the former.