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Keep Your Fork

A young woman was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was subsequently given a short time to live. As she was getting her things in order, she called her preacher and asked him to drop by to discuss her wishes for the funeral.

She mentioned the songs she wanted to be sung, scriptures to be read, and a few other details. As the preacher was preparing to leave, the woman has one more request.

“There is one more thing,” she said.  “What’s that?” the preacher replied.

“I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

Puzzled, the preacher asked, “Please pardon me, but why do you wish to be buried with a fork in your right hand?”

She then explained. “In all my years of attending church dinners and potlucks, I remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably remark, ‘Don’t forget to keep your fork!’ This was a reminder that something wonderful was still waiting, such as chocolate cake, banana pudding or deep-dish apple pie. Holding on to my fork lead to countless occasions of delight. So, when people see me in my casket with fork in hand, you can tell them that I expect something far better to come!”

The preacher’s eyes welled up with tears as he hugged the woman, knowing that this might be the last time he would see her alive on earth. But he also realized that she had a profound grasp of heaven. She KNEW that something infinitely better was coming.

During her funeral, scores of people walk by the woman’s casket, noting the fork in her right hand. Over and over, the preacher overheard the question “Why the fork?” And over and over he smiled.

During the eulogy, the preacher told the audience about the fork and about what it meant to the woman. Although a few were crying prior to the preacher’s remarks, not a dry eye remained after he explained the meaning of the fork.

The next time you grab a fork, hold on to it a few extra moments… and remember that for the faithful child of God, the best is yet to come! *

Sin doesn’t give that kind of hope: “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  This is terrible news, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

But the GOOD NEWS (the Gospel) is that God loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).  Through Jesus, we can have the forgiveness of our sins, be reconciled to God, and rejoice in the hope of eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Titus 1:2).

In order to accept God’s offer of salvation and eternal life, we must place our faith and trust in Christ (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).  Then, we can “rejoice in hope” as we continue to walk in the light of God’s Word (1 John 1:7).

If you are a child of God, you can keep your fork, for the best is yet to come!

Won’t you BECOME a child of God through your trusting obedience?

David Sargent, Minister

Church of Christ at Creekwood 
1901 Schillinger Rd. S.
Mobile, Alabama  36695

* Slightly adapted from article by Dennis Swindle: “Keep Your Fork” (6/18/13).

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