Funeral Words

Posted: January 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Tonight, I watched the memorial service of a great man of God, Pastor Wendell Smith.  He was one of our instructors in college and I learned so much from him about youth ministry and creative communication.  The service was a beautiful, three-hour tribute that barely scratched the surface of a life entirely dedicated to Jesus and the Church and his family and faith.  It was lovely in every way.

As always, this kind of event makes me think about my own funeral.  I know it seems morbid, but Ecclesiastes says it’s better to go to funerals than parties because we’re all going to die and so we need the reminder to live well (Bo translation).  I really don’t like funerals.  But I’m glad for the way they make me think.

I’ve run it through my head a few times now, and my hope is that at the end of my life, people could say that they felt loved by me and that I somehow helped them feel more certain that they are loved by Him.   And that I could be trusted with Truth.   And that I was fun.  And maybe that my baked ziti was the best in town (a girl can dream).

So, I guess, if I want to be remembered this way, I should make sure I’m living this way.  That must be why it’s good to go to funerals.

How about you?  Feeling brave enough to share your dreams for your own funeral words?

Loving life,


  1. Nita Belles says:

    I have it written down that, in keeping with my life, they have to bring me in late for my funeral. They will say something like this: “Nita would have been here on time but she had an important quick stop on the way here, and she ran in to someone she just LOVED and had to chat a bit.”

    Other than that I’m with ya sista. Except what’s ziti?

  2. Caleb says:

    1. A man that God trusted, his wife trusted, his children trusted, and people felt loved by.

  3. Jamie says:

    I once went to a funeral of a pastor who lived well into the older years. I didn’t know him very long. I had went to visit him in the hospital during his last few days, thinking I could provide some comfort. I remember walking down the hall to his room and hearing a booming voice laughing with his nurses. I walked into the room and he immediately grabbed my hand, pulling me close to sit next to him. With his wife by his side, he started telling me their story of how they met, fell in love, and walked through life together. Tears filled his eyes as he talked about Jesus and encouraged me to surrender my life to Him, to trust Him, and to love Him with all of my heart. I walked out of that room different and have never forgot that moment where a dying man was more concerned about loving me than worried about death. I showed up to his funeral a couple days later to find that I wasn’t the only one who had captured his attention in the last few days before he met Jesus- his doctor, and several nurses were at the funeral as well. And I decided, I want to die like that. Ever since, a funeral like Jim’s has been my aim.

  4. Nancy Ludeman says:

    I don’t know if I’m feeling brave about speaking of my funeral, yet I am touched by your question…what DO I hope is said at my funeral?

    Well, I hear a song…one of my favorite songs in the whole universe…
    “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see…”

    Oh, and it gets Better…
    “T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed…”

    And, then Faithfulness Exordinaraire…
    “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe this far and Grace will lead me home.”

    It’s the very Air I Breathe…
    “The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.”

    Forever Rescued and Redeemed…
    “Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease, I shall posess within the veil, a life of Joy and Peace.”

    Oh, and Standing in Awe…
    “When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days to sing His praise than when we first begun.”

    Now, kneeling, fragrant oil, adoring Him…
    “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”

    Probably more than you needed to read… 🙂

    Grace to you, Bo


  5. Gail says:

    I just came from a funeral for a mother and her child … I always am thinking the same thing… what will they say about me.?? and that would be that I breathed in Jesus and that my life was an example of that.. at this funeral .. they talked of her smile and and how it lite up a room.. i think Jesus wanted us all to know she was a light unto others, but the darkness took her over.. Oh so thankful for the hope I have in Him and eternity…

  6. bolovesjoe says:

    I love all these responses. Love, love, love them. Life is sacred, yes, but death is the beautiful – ULTIMATE – transition from fallen to free. Thanks for sharing, all.

  7. tara jean says:

    It was a beautiful funeral. I was blessed to have Pastor Wendell as my pastor for 2 years. There were so many people there! I Loved that the service was so encouraging and challenging and you walked away feeling victorious. I want it to be said of me, that my life wasn’t wasted, that I was a good steward of everything God gave me, that I pursued excellence-“that I accomplished the will of God for my life in my generation” and much much more…I’ll blog on it soon

  8. jane williams says:

    Okay, call me weird, but I remember thinking of my funeral when I was 10! It was the first time I realized with such clarity that one day death would take me. Death frightens me. Not for any other reason than wanting so much to have a full life that pleases Him. I’ve always dreamed of having a full funeral with people whose lives I’ve been a blessing. At this point, I KNOW that I am not ready to die, for that very reason. Lord, fill my life with those things that please you, because even if my funeral is void of people above all I want to know that YOU were pleased with the life you gave me…. “We may not all do great things, but we all can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

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