Keep Your Fork

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There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal disease 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. "This is very important. I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood with a puzzled look on his face, not knowing how to reply. The woman explained, AFor years I've attended church socials and potluck dinners, and I remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would always lean over and say, "Keep your fork." That was always my favorite time, because that meant something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So I 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 it happened just that way. Over and over the pastor heard the question, "What's with the fork?" and he smiled each time.

During his message, the pastor told the people about the fork and what it symbolized to her. He said he would never stop thinking about it, and neither should they. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come!