I attended the funeral of a friend last Monday. He was one whom I never expected would leave so suddenly. On the morning when I learnt of his death from the newspaper, I had actually woken up thinking of him. It was just a few days after the major quake in Christchurch, NZ. I remember his son lived there and had thought of checking with him if his son was ok. Little did I know that he had gone to a better place the evening before without regaining consciousness from a hemorrhagic stroke. It was a beautiful ceremony for a person whose life touched many.
The song that was played just before he was wheeled out of the church for burial was the one titled Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds. It's lyrics were adapted from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 (New International Version, ©2011).
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.
Yes, there's a time for everything. And as verse 11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
S.M., may you rest in peace. At this time, I'm also thinking of all the people I once knew and loved who have gone to a better place where I believe has no pain or suffering. I'm thinking of how our lives connected, the words, moments and lifetimes we shared. Thank you, that's all I can say.