Keep your fork

There was a young 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.

Everything was in order and the pastor was
preparing to leave when the young 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 young woman continued.
"I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

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

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

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

The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told
me this story, and from there on out, I have always
done so. I have also, always tried to pass along its
message to those I love and those who are in need of

'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 favourite part because I knew
that something better was 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 young 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
young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.
She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like
than many people twice her age, with twice as much
experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something
better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young
woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was
wearing 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 young 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 ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.


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