" KEEP YOUR FORK..."

There was a woman who had been diagnosed
with a terminal illness and had been given
three months to live.

So as she was getting her things "in order",
she contacted her pastor and had him come to her
house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the
service, what scriptures she would like read,
and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.
The woman also requested to be buried with
her favorite Bible.

Everything was in order and the pastor was
preparing to leave when the woman suddenly
remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" Came the pastor's reply.

"This is very important," the woman continued, ....
"I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman,
not knowing quite what to say...

"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,"
said the pastor.

The woman explained. "In all my years of attending
church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember
that when the dishes of the main course were being
cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say,
'keep your fork.'

It was my favorite part because I knew that something
better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake
or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful,
and with substance!

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket
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."

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears
of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye.

He knew this would be one of the last times
he would see her before her death.
But he also knew that the woman had a better
grasp of heaven than he did.

She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the
woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress
she was wearing and her favorite Bible and
the fork placed in her right hand.

Over and over the pastor heard the question
"What's with the fork?"
And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the pastor told the people of the
conversation he had with the woman shortly before
she died. He also told them about the fork and
about what it symbolized to her.

The pastor told the people how he could not stop
thinking about the fork and told them that they
probably would not be able to stop thinking
about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork,
let it remind you... oh so gently that
the best is yet to come...
 

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Tina's Prayer Gate
2001