Picnics and Funerals

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! Psalm 30:10-12

A few years ago when I was serving as pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, Michele and I were invited to a picnic for preschoolers and their families. The picnic was on a Saturday morning, in a grassy park area on our church campus. It was a fun event - with baskets filled with sandwiches, chips, and cookies; dads and moms sitting on blankets on the ground; and children running around everywhere, playing games and laughing.

We had been picnicking for about an hour when a group of people began walking past us on the sidewalk near the park. They were headed to our churchs worship center, wearing dark suits and dresses. In contrast to the laughter of our picnic, they looked somber and subdued. We realized that they were going into the worship center for a funeral.

What do you do when youre having a picnic and someone else is going to a funeral?

We did our best to quiet things down for a few moments as the funeral-goers passed by.  But the preschoolers pretty much kept laughing and playing. After all, it was a picnic.

Ive kept that Saturday in mind ever since. Its a reminder of a reality in life: When youre having a picnic - somebody else is having a funeral. When youre having a funeral - somebodys having a picnic. When youre celebrating the greatest joy of your life, someone is experiencing their greatest sorrow.

Wherever you are today, remember that God has the power the turn your mourning into dancing! Give thanks to the Lord and sing His praise!

Have a great day and keep moving forward!