The two of them were best friends in seminary, studying together, helping each other financially when one or the other got in a pinch, they stood by each other through thick and thin.
When they graduated from seminary both coincidentally received a church call within the same state: Louisiana, Bob got a church in the north part of the state and Bill got a church in the south. Life was great. Every Wednesday they would met in the middle of the state and fish, hunt for gaiters, or just go shooting. They did this for many years and as they were nearing retirement, one day Pastor Bill said to Pastor Bob, I can’t think of anyone else I would like to do my funeral. Pastor Bob said to Pastor Bill, I feel the same way, I can’t think of anyone better than you to my funeral. So they agreed that whoever should go first, the other would do the funeral.
It came to pass that Pastor Bob passed away first and so Pastor Bill came up to do the funeral. Upon his arrival, he was met by one of the church ladies, Evelyn. Evelyn needed desperately to meet with Pastor Bill. It seems Evelyn was at Pastor Bob’s bedside and his dying wish, in his last gasping breaths, was to have a final song sung at the end of the graveside committal – Jingle Bells. Pastor Bill said Jungle Bells – that’s crazy, Bob would have never said that, I’m not singing Jingle Bells at a graveside committal.
After some thought, Bill decided he had to sing Jingle Bells at the graveside committal, for it was after all, as crazy as it was, it was Bob’s dying request. The day of the funeral came and the church was packed, the funeral service went well; so well that everyone came to the graveside committal, which went very well with Pastor Bill ending it with, “Let’s all join in together and sing the song that was Pastor Bob’s dying request: Jingle Bells.” “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way….no one else joined in except Evelyn, the church lady.
At the wake, as Pastor Bill sat alone, everyone distancing themselves from him – Evelyn, the church lady sat down beside him. “That was such a nice funeral…but you know, now that I think of it, I think Pastor Bob may have said, ‘please sing the song, The Bell Tolls For Thee’”.
Sometime we hear….what wasn’t said.
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