Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ever worry that you are going to hell? I am specifically talking to Christians who believe that God has saved them. Today I dealt with this twice. In my Yong Adult small group we went through chapter 5 in Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This chapter, more than any other, really challenged me to examine my life as a Christian. Everyone in the group really struggled through it as well.

I think the biggest thing is to remember that our relationship with God is based on grace. We don't earn it at all. Often we begin to think that we are doing well and so somehow deserve heaven. I think it is good for us to come to these places where we realize that we don't deserve it and that we are totally dependent on God.

Anyways, I said that today I wrestled with my final destination twice. I was a very bad Youth pastor today. It wasn't something I did on purpose. Actually that is a big part of the problem. I was involved with a funeral today. I mentioned on Monday that a wonderful woman died and today was her funeral. I was a pall bearer and ran sound & video. I was speaking with the daughter (who is a very nice lady as well and in a few months I'll be asking her and her husband to help in Youth) about what they wanted played and when and I said the dumbest thing ever.

They had a photo show with music that they wanted played as the family came in until the pastor got up to speak. Then I was to fade the music but leave the video running till the singing when I switched to displaying the songs. I said something that I always say when it comes to turning off the audio. "So when pastor steps up you want me to kill the sound and …." Yeah that was the worst choice of words ever. I said as much and apologized profusely but it gets worse. Then I said, "I could just dig a hole and bury … nope, I'm done I am just gonna walk away and stop talking."

Yeah I'm pretty certain that I'm lucky the ground didn't open and drop me straight into the worst part of hell for that. I really can't believe I said something so insensitive much less two things in a row like that.

Anyone got anything that can top my faux pax?

9 comments:

jake - aka the comment novelist said...

With any luck, you may have done them a favor. Perhaps when they got home later, they talked about "the incident with that crazy YP" and were able to laugh.

Matt said...

I think you're over-reacting a bit. It's just a figure of speech.

No disrespect to her loss, but if she's so sensitive that those couple of phrases really upset her, then she's probably not someone you want to work with youth...

katdish said...

Oh, Nick! I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I've had a few doozies in my day. You know, the kind where years after the fact, the memory comes back and you STILL cringe? As sarcastic as I am, the thought of actually hurting someone feelings intentionally hits me pretty hard.

And no disrespect to Matt, but for me, it's more about my insensitivity in the moment than anyone else's reaction.

I feel your pain, and I'm sorry that she passed away.

Nick the Geek said...

Jake & Matt,
She was totally gracious and didn't break down or anything. It really bothered me more than her. That is why I'll be trying to get them into the ministry.

Kat,
I know you've had some things you are just afraid to share and make me feel better. You are enjoying my misery aren't you?

PS thanks.

Also PSS, thanks to Jake and Matt as well.

Helen said...

First of all, I am sorry for your loss. I know you were praying hard for her. We all were on this end, too.

Now, embarassing funeral faux pas....

On the Gaither's show, one of the men tells a joke similar to this.

A minister well known for his beautiful singing voice came home visibly upset after consulting with a new widow about funeral plans for her recently deceased husband. His wife asked him what was wrong, and he revealed that the wife had asked him to sing her husband's favorite song, "Jingle Bells," at the funeral.
He was troubled that it wasn't appropriate to the solemn occasion. He struggled and prayed about it, and finally decided to honor the grieving widow's wishes.
At the funeral, still sensitive about how some of the mourners might react to hearing "Jingle Bells" at a funeral, he carefully introduced the song with words about appreciating the sense of humor and lightheartedness of the deceased.
The widow had been very tearful during the service. Hearing the introduction to her late husband's "favorite song" she sat up and began to appear quite interested. As the preacher began the song, the widow began to smile, and her tears dried up.
She was actually giggling as he concluded, and he felt glad he'd decided to honor her request since it obviously had been so comforting.
After the service she thanked the pastor for sharing his music ministry, and with a big grin she added, "By the way, the favorite song I requested was 'When They Ring Those Golden Bells!'"

Now, my own terrible faux pas. My Uncle Ray died many years ago. He used to wear his hair in a comb over, and wore a black t-shirt and black jeans everywhere, including weddings, but we (his nieces and nephews, as he had no wife or children) loved him very much.
At his wake, his nephews and nieces were lamenting that the funeral home gave him a haircut instead of allowing him to keep the comb over, as we remember him. Then I added "Yeah, and everyone knows he wouldn't be caught dead in a suit!" I think I was more horrified than anyone else. My family recognized the truth in my statement, while I only saw the inappropriateness of the macabre humour that came out.
Sorry for the long comment. My point: it could have been worse....If it didn't bother her, don't sweat it. I am sure your friend looked down from Heaven and recognized that you were grieving so hard for her, you just didn't know what you were saying...

Nick the Geek said...

Helen,

I have heard the "Jingle Bells" story before but it is funny.

Thanks for sharing your tale. It makes me feel better to know I didn't say that. :)

I figure that life involves some monster screw-ups. That is part of living. To survive I learned to laugh at myself early on. I was horrified that I said that, but I was laughing about it later. I'll share it with the Youth soon when it is related to something I'm talking about and in a while, when enough time has passed, I'll even share it in church where the family can sit and judge me or, knowing them, laugh with/at me.

katdish said...

Helen - I hope you are able to laugh about that now -- funny!

I remember something I said once. Not a funeral, but still...

When I working at a department store, a woman came in looking at dresses, noticing her rather large belly, I said to her, "We don't carry maternity dresses per sea, but there are several nice dresses that are full and don't have waistlines." To which she replied, "What makes you think I need a maternity dress?"

There's really no graceful way out of that situation. I felt like such a jerk!

Nick the Geek said...

Katdish,

"What Baby?"

Anyone remember the movie? That was great. I'm not into "Romantic Comedies" but that line was too funny.

My wife had someone pull that one on her not long ago, but admittedly she had just had our 4th so her belly isn't back to pre baby proportions.

Helen said...

Katdish, I was giggling while I was typing! Everone agrees that Uncle Raymond would have found the whole thing hysterical if he had been there (in spirit, I mean), and that he probably would have made funny cracks about it all night. He was just the first close family member I had to die, so I was really weirded out that I said something so inappropriate. Now, I consider it more of a tribute to him....

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