When Mrs. Smith was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the doctors gave her three months to live. Being the amazing person that she was, Mrs. Smith started putting her affairs “in order”, and contacted her pastor, Rev. Phillip, to convey her final wishes.
She told the pastor what songs should be sung at the service, what scriptures she wanted to be read, and which outfit she would like to be buried in. She also asked to be buried with her favorite Bible. When it was all written down, and Rev. Phillip was getting ready to leave, Mrs. Smith suddenly remembered one last thing.
“Reverend, there’s one last thing I would like,” she said.
“What is it?” replied the pastor.
“This is very important to me,” she continued. “I would like to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”
Reverend Phillip stood stunned; her words had taken him aback. Mrs. Smith smiled and said “this surprises you, doesn’t it?”
Bemused, the pastor replied “In all honesty, yes. I’m a bit puzzled by this request.”
Still smiling, Mrs. Smith explained: “In all my years attending church and social events, I remember that when the main course was being cleared, someone would always lean over and say ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part of the evening, as it meant that something better was to come… be it an apple pie, a velvety chocolate cake, or a serving of delicious ice cream. It was always something wonderful and full of substance!
So I just want people to see me with a fork in my hand and 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, and he hugged Mrs. Smith goodbye. He knew this would be the last time he would see her before she left this world. He also realized that Mrs. Smith had a better understanding of heaven than he ever did. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral, people were walking by Mrs. Smith’s casket and saw her pretty dress, her favorite Bible, and the fork in her right hand. Each and every one approached the pastor and quietly asked him “What’s with the fork?” But he only smiled.
When giving the eulogy, Rev. Phillip told the bereaved about the conversation he had with Mrs. Smith before she died. He told them about the fork and what it meant to her. He told them that he couldn't stop thinking about the fork and that they shouldn’t forget it either. He was right.
So next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you that the best is yet to come…