Although I had just gotten the text that my grandma had just passed away I knew what my responsibilities were. There was a quick pain in my heart after reading it, followed by a constant flowing of peace that continues as I write this. I didn't have to rush home, my grandma wasn't there. I led the Christian soldiers back to Harvest and had a fun time setting up chairs for the Sunday morning service. In more ways than one the Lord blessed that night.
I returned home expecting a weeping mother and sorrowful family. I couldn't find them. My mother had one of the calmest composures I had ever witnessed following such an event.
Anyway, this blog wasn't supposed to be about my Grandma's passing but what happened earlier today at the funeral. So now to the intriguing part.
I had to work today. That stunk. So I vroom from work to the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale. The chapel that the ceremony was in was the same place my grandpa, her husband was at many years ago. The place had shrunk since then. Leading the services was Pastor Jim Schultz who pastored the church my grandma used to attend in Glendale. He was a very kind man who had bright white hair accompanied by a deep preacher voice and was nice enough to cancel his other plans to do this ceremony for our family.
It came time for the open mic session of the ceremony. Many friends of the family and family members stood up or went to the front and shared kind, inspiring memories at the Godly woman my grandma Alice was. Pastor Schultz asked if there was anyone else who wanted to say anything. I raised my hand sheepishly but my dad blasted out of his seat and said some nice words and gave thanks from the family. After my dad sat down the Pastor gave a last call. My other grandma who was sitting next to me saw me raise my hand and nudged me to go for it.
I stood up, but I didn't just stand up. I walked to front of the stage, but I didn't stand there. I walked all the way to the mic'd pulpit and placed my bible down. I didn't have anything written down or prepared but I shared John 11:25 and also Galatians 5:22-23 from my heart. I just briefly talked about how the fruits of the spirit were evidenced in her life.
Then I left the pulpit and went to sit down. Pastor Schultz returned to his pulpit and rhetorically asked me from the pulpit, "David, have you ever thought about becoming a preacher? That was great." Actually I have thought about it. I can't seem to stop thinking about it. My grandma gave me praise for my kind words and echoed the pastor's sentiments. She said that mantle was being passed on to me from him. I understood what she meant but as I was writing this I now understand the significance. She was referring to 1 Kings 19:19 which says, "So [Elijah] departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him." I was complimented also the brother of my grandma who was just encouraging me who is also a preacher. Lord, this seems to be where you're guiding me.
I talked with Pastor Schultz a little after the ceremony and he invested a few personal moments with me and where I thought the Lord was calling me. In fact, (I told him) I was reading a book entitled, "Is God Calling Me?" We talked for a bit more and he shared his own experience being called to serve the Lord. All of this was very refreshing and encouraging for me. Throughout the day I also received a couple other encouraging words, comments and pieces of Godly wisdom and advice from family members. I am thankful for all of those. But this is where it gets interesting.
Years ago my Grandma Alice (the one who passed away) shared this story with me when I was much younger. My mother also confirmed this story, you can ask her! According to my grandma the night before I was born my grandma had a dream. She had a dream about me. I've never shared this with anyone outside of the family, but she had a dream that I was speaking in front of a large crowd. She said I was speaking to a crowd like Billy Graham did. She said that I was a Pastor.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Lord, show me your plan! Bring it!