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
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
"What's that?" came the
"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 encouragement. '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 favorite part
because I knew that something better was coming...like 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 good-bye. 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
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
Friends are a very rare jewel,
indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an
ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their
hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care. Remember to always be
there for them, even when you need them more. For you never know when it
may be their time to "Keep your fork." Cherish the time you
have, and the memories you share ... being friends with someone is not an
opportunity but a sweet responsibility.
Send this to everyone you
consider a FRIEND even if it means sending back to the person who sent it
And keep your fork.
Submitted by Dick