> As a young minister in Kentucky, I was asked by a
> funeral director to hold a grave-side service for a homeless
> man, who had no family or friends. The funeral was to be
> held at a new cemetery way back in the country, and this man
> would be the first to be buried there.
> I was not familiar with the backwoods area, and I soon
> became lost. Being a typical man, I did not stop to ask for
> directions. I finally arrived an hour late.
> I saw the backhoe and the open grave, but the hearse
> was nowhere in sight. T he digging crew was eating lunch. I
> apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and I stepped to
> the side of the open grave. There I
> saw the vault lid already in place. I assured the
> workers I would not hold them up for long, as I told them
> that this was the proper thing to do.
> The workers gathered around the grave and stood
> silently, as I began to pour out my heart and soul. As I
> preached about 'looking forward to a brighter tomorrow' and
> 'the glory that is to come,' the workers began to say 'Amen
> ,' 'Praise the Lord,' and 'Glory!' The fervor of these men
> truly inspired me. So, I preached and I preached like I had
> never preached before, all the way from Genesis to
> I finally closed the lengthy service with a prayer,
> thanked the men, and walked t o my car As I was opening the
> door and taking off my coat, I heard one of the workers say
> to another, 'I ain't NEVER seen nothin' like that before,
> and I've been puttin' in septic tanks for thirty years!'
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