Growing Up in a Funeral Home (Our Pastor’s Story)
I spent the first ten years of my life living in the back of a funeral home. My father was an embalmer / funeral director, and his father before him was also an embalmer. During those years, my bedroom was right next to the embalming room where they prepared the bodies. I spend those years with a tremendous fear of death.
I was surrounded by death every day. I can remember lying in bed at night and hearing the embalming machine working as Dad embalmed a body. On rainy days, my brother and I would play “hide and go seek” in the casket room. I would go outside to play ball and go right by the hearse. I would come home from school and my Mom would tell me to be very quiet because a funeral was going on in the next room. Death was everywhere. It took me quite a while to figure out why none of my friends wanted to do a “sleep over” at my house.
My Grandma & Grandpa lived right across the street from the funeral home. I can remember talking to my grandmother about my fear of death. She told me that Jesus loved me, and that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Because of that—I did not need to fear death anymore. She went on to explain that if I prayed and asked Christ into my life, He would come in and be with me forever—even when I was at the funeral home. As a young boy, I can remember getting down on my knees next to Grandma’s bed, and praying a simple prayer. That day—I gave my life to Christ. That happen on a Sunday afternoon. When I went to bed that evening, it was the first night living in the funeral home that I was no longer afraid because I knew that Jesus was with me. And He has been with me ever since.
That decision occurred many years ago—at the time, I did not realize the tremendous impact that simple prayer would have on my life. Since then I have had times in my life I have been close to God, and times I have been far away from Him. I have experienced times of joy, but also times of failure, disappointment, and pain. But through it all, I have learned that God never gives up on me. And God will never give up on you either. Having Christ in my life was the most important decision I have ever made. What about you, have you made that decision?