Contrasts are interesting. Especially when they reveal to us what is actually the same. I guess that sounds odd. I went to two funerals this weekend. Both of old (black African) Christian men who I have known for some time, although not very, very well. Both dedicated to the church. Both with immense humility. Both with wonderful welcoming smiles.
S. was buried from a 600 seat church in Sandton. The church and foyer were packed with people. All sorts of people. Old, young, black, white, smart, casual. There was a sense of dignity. Of loss, but also of peaceful passing.
J was buried from his shack in an informal settlement. A tent was erected adjoining the one room building. It was packed. People streamed in from the community and from the church. All sorts of people. Such different surroundings, yet also that immense sense of dignity. Of loss, but of peaceful passing.
The illustration in this is that - we can be God's people in whatever situation. For S humility would have been much harder, perhaps, than for J. Yet he was a humble man. J might have found it harder to smile sometimes, yet he was always cheerful.
I was impressed that there was so much the same in such different funerals. God is awesome.