Saturday, December 30, 2006

One Tough Funeral

My preacher friend, John emailed me this morning to ask if I "got the funeral" of Saddam Hussein. It's preacher humor, and unless you've been one, you probably don't get it.

I've conducted some difficult funerals in my day. There was a twenty-two year old young man who died when the trench he was working in collapsed on him. He wasn't a Christian, and his parents suddenly came face-to-face with the reality that, while they prepared their boy for life they left him unready for life after death.

Then there was the funeral of a fifty year old active-duty Sargent in the Indiana National Guard. Row after row of service men paraded by his casket, stopping to stand at attention and salute. There were three generals in the audience that day. One of them, who was offended that a chaplain hadn't been requested to preside at the service, refused to speak to me when we met prior to the eulogy.

Tough funerals. But none so tough as that of Saddam Hussein. What does one say at the funeral of an unbelieving, murderous, former-dictator? Good luck with that one, Pastor Who-ever-you-are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How many of us will go to the table next Sunday not yet having forgiven General Hussein? Though his actions in life have been horrendous and far reaching I certainly don't want any of his blood on my hands for passing any judgement as to where his soul spends eternity.
May his family and friends find respite within the arms of God.