Priscilla's Friends

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 buried in.

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 said excitedly.

  "What's that?" came the pastor's reply.

  "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 it's message to those I love and those who are in need of

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 favourite
part because I knew that something better was velvety
chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand
and 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

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 smiled.

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

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 come.

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 it back
to the person who sent it to you.

And keep your fork.

rowland @ johnmarkministries . org
Email Jan and Rowland