There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and
had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in
order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss
certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted
sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit
she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with
her favorite Bible.
Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the
woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one
more thing," she said excitedly.
"What's that?" the pastor replied.
"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with
a fork in my right hand." The pastor stood looking at the woman, not
knowing quite what to say.
"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked.
"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.
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 lean over and say,
'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something
better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie.
Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see
me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder,
'What's with the fork?' Then, I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork,
the best is yet to come.'
The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman
goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her
before her death. However, he also knew that the woman had a better
grasp of Heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral, people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw
the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork
placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question,
"What's with the fork?" And over and over, he smiled. During his
message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the
woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and
about what it symbolized to her.
The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork
and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about
it either. He was right.
Therefore, the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you
that the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
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