Friday, June 16, 2006

Requeim for A Friend

A good friend and brother in Christ died on 11 June. It was a sudden death. Within a few hours he deteriorated and expired. He died from severe intracranial haemorrage. There was nothing the doctors could do. My friend was at the peak of his career and was the principal of large secondary school in Johor Bahru. He left behind a wife and three young sons.

I was to conduct his funeral service. What am I to say? What can I say to the grieving widow? What shall I say to the sons who has lost a father? What will I say to his friends, colleagues and students? Somehow, the stock phrases we use in funeral services seem meaningless; "God loves him so much that He wants him with Him now"; "God said his job on earth is completed"; "He did not suffer"; "It is part of God's plans" or "This is how God wants it." How will this sound to a woman who has just lost her husband? How will this sound to a son who has just lost his father?

In the end, when I gave the sermon, I talked about my friend. I talked about how he loved his wife, how he was so proud of his children, how he loved his work (all those students he has guided and helped) and how he love his God.

The widow asked me 'Why?" I answered, "I don't know"


Blogger jacksons said...

hmmm. There are times, when that is a good answer, and others, when they want to hear more than that. I wonder type of time that was...

tough being a finite human, isnt it?

12:33 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Yes, it's tough looking through a glass dimly.

Sometimes, what they need is not intellectual answers but just the ministry of presence.

11:59 AM  

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