He was old and alone. His wife of many decades had died after a lengthy illness. He didn't go to church but he knew me from the senior citizen center, so he asked me to do the funeral.
I sat with him in his living room to talk about the funeral. “What can you tell me about your wife?” I asked.
Without a beat he said, “Well David, she was mean.”
That was about all he had to say. But I pressed him some. “Do you have any nice memories from when you were young.”
He shook his head. “No, David, she was mean.”
I tried once more. “Did she have a sense of humor?”
“No. She was mean.”
So I wrote in my notes: “MEAN.”
The one notable thing about her was that she was a true miser. She never spent any of her money. Every check she ever received, she would cash and then hide it away in the books on her shelf. After she died, they found tens of thousands of dollars in those books.
She was selfish, joyless, and bitter. No one came to her funeral except her husband.
I wonder if Jesus was so gracious as to allow her into the pearly gates, how would she feel about heaven? Would the throngs of angels and people singing praise be so much noise to her? Would she feel offended at the waste she saw in the lavish feast spread before her at the banquet table? Would it outrage her that the gold she held to so tightly was now used as pavement?
Would heaven be hell for her?
And what would she think that after the funeral, the old man took her money, married a woman half his age, bought a motor home, and left town?
She probably felt pretty mean about it.