Post # 123
Those of you that follow this post, have probably read blog # 121 “The Old Warrior”, it was posted on Facebook twice by family and had close to a gazillion viewings.
My father-in-law passed away on August 6th. The viewing and funeral was held on August 8th. I was honored to be asked by the family to conduct the funeral and grave side services. No, I am not an ordained, nor certified minister of the cloth. I have some slight experience with a funeral service, the family having also asked that I perform the funeral service of the families’ Grandmother a few years ago.
I had known my father-in-law for forty-five years, the majority of his adult life. Through those years I got to know him well. Yet, it was with some difficulty I that pondered the sort of message to present. I quickly realized that my 45 years of personal knowledge of him was merely surface knowledge, I did not know the substance of the man. Some of the substance was discussed in blog #121, more was learned by questioning the four children concerning their remembrances.
Weeks later, something caused us, (my wife and I) to discuss some aspect of the funeral service. Those of us, in the older generation, when we think of something, our minds somehow take this gigantic leap to somewhere else. (I sort of view that as a Ms. Marple conclusion-if any of you are Agatha Christie fans) For some reason, I reflected back to my childhood, our big entertainment was attending the local drive-in (That’s a drive-in movie to you younger people). I can not recall WHY I remember this, because I was under the age of 10, my parents chose to see it, it was a “MAN CALLED PETER”. I remember that I slept through most of it. Actually there were only a couple of scenes that I DO remember.
Today, reflecting back, I became obsessed, wanting to re-acquaint myself with the movie. By chance, a neighbor had copy to loan. Its plot would not hold the interest of a child, which explains why I slept through it years ago.
I was intrigued, not only with the clarity of Peter’s messages but with the degree of his conviction to it. It was not unlike a similar experience I had, one summer, when a Scottish Presbyterian Minister spent the summer in our Lafayette, Indiana Church Pulpit. The usually empty summer pews were full to standing room only, with people outside listening. Was it the brogue or was it the message that captivated us? No, you fought through the brogue, and concentrated on the words. It was just like Peter, in real life.
I envy the conviction and steadfastness of Peter. If truth be said, and I guess it must, I see myself falling somewhere between Mathew and Thomas. Some days I am one, but more often, I am the other. I wish I could be more like Peter.