This is a story which I have used on a few occasions – including Sunday morning’s message on Blessed are those who mourn.
John Ortberg tells the story of a woman who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given three months to live. She sent for her pastor so they could discuss aspects of her final wishes. She told him what songs she wanted to have sung at her service, and what parts of the Bible she wanted read. She told him that she would like to be buried with her favourite Bible in her left hand. She had one odd request that puzzled the pastor. She wanted to be buried with a fork in her right hand.
She explained how she had noticed something in all the years of attending church meals and socials. As the dishes were being cleared after the main course, someone would always remind her to keep her fork. When she heard that she knew that something better was on its way. Chocolate cake or apple pie.
And she told the pastor, , “So, I just want people to see me there with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder … ‘What’s with the fork’… then I want you to tell them: “Keep your Fork … the best is yet to come”.