Recently the mother of a good friend passed away after a lengthy illness. Though I never met her personally, I am sure from my friend’s account that she was a good, morally upright woman, one who had raised a large family by herself after her husband died very young. She was also very religious, having prayerfully supported our own family in a time of crisis.
Despite her apparent goodness, in times past, under a previous religious paradigm, I would likely have been forced to ponder her final spiritual state with certain misgivings. No matter how good one was in the eyes of others, there was always some doubt about whether a deceased person was “okay” with God. In some cases those doubts arose because the deceased was “unchurched”. In other instances, the doubt stemmed from the fact that the person claimed a church but one of another denominational persuasion whose authenticity was in question. In this context, funerals were always troublesome. At the very moment when the heart sought assurances, doubt and fear prevailed.
Thankfully, I now realize that God is not in the business of culling humanity, to pick out those worthy of eternal life. That’s extremely fortunate because no one is less worthy than yours truly. The God who cannot fail, does not fail. Perfect Love (God’s Love) casts out all fear, making funerals a lot less stressful.