Today Chad and I were asked to sing at a funeral. We had just gone to the nursing home to sing to this sweet lady a few weeks ago, and on Friday night she finally learned the mysteries of a new existence in the presence of the Lord.
I was nervous. Singing at funerals can be nerve-wracking because of the emotions and the quietness in the room. On our way there, I asked Adelade to pray for me. I don’t know that I have ever really done that before, asked one of my children to intercede for me. But, she didn’t miss a beat. She said, sure, and started praying. She prayed that God would calm my nerves. That He would help Chad and me to do a good job. And then she prayed for the grieving family: God, please help them not to cry too much, because we know that she went to Heaven and Heaven is way better than this place.
She said amen and continued the debate she was having with her brother in the backseat. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about what she had prayed. …and Heaven is way better than this place. This, coming from a child who lives an easier, more carefree, more pleasant life than the majority of the world’s population of children. This, from a little girl who has everything she needs, a loving family, great friends, and plenty of laughter in her life. This, from a nine year old who has never worked a day in her life, has never wondered where her next meal was coming from or if her parents were going to leave her.
Basically, Adelade has an incredible life. Her existence in “this place” is pretty phenomenal. She is happy. She loves her life. Yet, here she is, baby in the faith, completely trusting in God’s promise that Heaven is so much better.
And, just like that, a nine year old’s prayer increased her mother’s faith.
The funeral was really beautiful, and when we sang, I could feel the effects of Adelade’s simple words. The precious lady was honored well by those who love her. And, I didn’t feel so nervous. My eyes were fixed Heavenward, and my heart was replaying the memory of a child’s prayer in the backseat.
I saw two faiths on display today. One, a faith that endured the loss of two children and a husband, a faith that sustained through grief and hard times and loneliness and illness. A faith that persevered until the very end of life on earth. The other faith that I saw today, well, it is new and shiny and hasn’t endured much yet. But, when Jesus told us to have childlike faith, maybe He was telling us that our faith, even at 87 years old, when we have seen and endured so much, should be just as shiny and new as the nine year old’s in the backseat on the fourth day of summer.
Today I’m grateful for both examples. I saw His “way better” in a flower-filled funeral parlor and in the backseat of a kid-filled minivan. He is good.