An Interrupted Funeral by Reva Lachica Moore

“An Interrupted Funeral” by Reva Lachica Moore
(Pictures borrowed from the internet)

The worship service had started and the preacher was well on his way in his sermon when a man and his young son sitting in front of us stood up. I saw the boy whisper to his dad a minute earlier so I figured the young lad wanted to go to the restroom.

Everyone seemed to be engrossed in the preacher’s sermon when suddenly, a very loud, piercing scream permeated the sanctuary.
“Somebody, help me!” There was utter panic in the man’s voice. “I have done the Heimlich Maneuver but it didn’t work!”

Right away I knew the little boy was choking. The preacher and two others ran towards the lobby.

“Hit his back!” someone shouted. Pretty soon I heard coughing and sobbing sounds. The boy spit out the object. Thank God! I later found out that the little boy choked on hard candy.

Why do we give out shrill screams in times of adversity? We give out piercing screams because of fear, particularly the “fear of a possible separation” from a loved one – through death. In the father and son’s case, death could have resulted if the young boy did not get help.

It is known that man is not the only animal that cries. Other animals cry, too. Animals may not weep like humans, however, they emit cries to imply emotional distress. Baby animals of all kinds vocalize when separated from their mothers. Baby elephants produce a very sad, intense sound that sounds like weeping. Wildlife experts have claimed that the sound of a bear cub’s cry, when separated from its mother is remarkably similar to the cries of a human baby.

I am reminded about the story in the Bible about the death of a young boy in the little city of Nain. The disciples did not know that Jesus was going there to interrupt the boy’s funeral. There were two groups of people and each group was getting bigger as the miles got farther. One group was made up of happy, expectant people; the other of weeping, despairing ones. People along the way where Jesus and the growing multitude were passing through left what they were doing to join the crowd. On the other hand, almost the whole town’s folks joined the funeral procession to show their sympathy to the crying widow.

I can just imagine the mother’s shrill, piercing scream as soon as her son breathed his last. A dreadful, wailing sound knowing she is forever separated from her only son.

Jesus knew about the poor mother’s grief; He timed His arrival at Nain to bring her help when all hope was gone. Jesus wanted to show how much He loved the mother and her son.

As the two processions met, Jesus came face to face with the poor widow. She was walking behind her dead boy weeping bitterly.

“Do not cry,” Jesus said to the mother with deep compassion. Something in His voice revealed that she need not cry anymore because He was going to give her a big surprise.

Then He touched the bier and spoke to the dead body with a commanding voice. “Young man, I say to you, Arise!”

Suddenly the dead boy moved; his eyes opened, then he sat up and started to talk. Those who were carrying the bier stood still. The next moment, mother and son were in each other’s arms, weeping tears of joy at this wonderful event.

In times of despair and grief, Jesus comforts. In times of isolation and fear, Jesus encourages. In times of need and hardship, Jesus provides.

Matthew 11: 28, 29…Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.