Formality and Funerals

This past Saturday I had the privilege of conducting a funeral service for a 21-year-old who died the week before in a motorcycle accident.

This young man was a gifted artist, loved the outdoors, and glued to anything with wheels and an engine.  So, in combining all of these passions, it wasn’t surprising that he and his friends spent most of their time creatively customizing bikes, quads, and trucks.

As the funeral crowd consisted mostly of self-titled, “motor heads,” it was definitely an audience that I didn’t quite connect with when it came to a passion for vehicles.  For me, I ride a minivan and never really think a thing of it.  I have never been into cars or “riding,” so there is definitely a part of that world I just don’t connect with.  But at the same time I have a deep appreciate and respect for their passion and what they can do in either fabricating or riding such devices.

The most appropriate part of the funeral is what some would find the most inappropriate. I was done with my message the pianist began playing the last song.  However, before the soloist had the opportunity to begin, a self-proclaimed “motor head” walked up to the front, grabbed the mic, and said, “I have something I want to say.”

It was awesome.

He then pulled out a 3-page letter written to his deceased friend.  The beauty of his letter is that he described a portion of his friend’s heart that I just couldn’t speak to.  A biker and machinist himself, he was able to open a door into the hearts of many motor heads and their passionate draw towards the mechanical.  I soon began to understand some of the electricity and life that they feel on a motorcycle or when crafting a truck into a completely new design.  I even began to see the possible validity of such objects truly present and active in the new heaven and earth.

Formality can sometimes cut off the most divine moments of clarity.  I was glad for this young man’s courage to walk up to the mic and ignore “order of service” protocol, making an unforgettable mark on us all.


~ by Dave Smith on June 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Formality and Funerals”

  1. […] Here’s an interesting blog post from a US preacher called Dave. Well, judge for yourself from these extracts. There is much in what he says which resonates with what Rupert Callender wrote yesterday. […]

  2. I love this, and have referenced it in my blog: Charles

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