You don’t usually see stuffed animals at a funeral, at least not funerals for men in their nineties. But Keith Hunt was unique. He was famous for reading Winnie the Pooh to college students using voices. You know what I mean: Pooh’s slow voice lamenting that he hasn’t any brain, only fluff; Piglet’s high excited prattle; Eyore’s low drawn out complaints.
Keith also loved music, especially the old hymns so full of content. At his service we sang “O, God, Our Help in Ages Past,” “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” “Jesus! The Name,” and “For All the Saints.” The soloist (from the fabulous Grand Rapids Chorus of Men and Boys) sang an arrangement of “None Other Lamb.” The only thing I didn’t like was that the organist played Haydn’s “Halleluiah Chorus” and we couldn’t sing along (although I found out later I wasn’t the only one humming under my breath.)
The scripture was Psalm 112:1-9.
1 Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn will be lifted high in honor.
The passage definitely describes Keith Hunt. I found myself wondering if it describes me. Will people say at my funeral “She found great delight in God’s commands”? Will they say that I was generous and lent freely or will they remember the times when I grudgingly counted out pennies for a teen mission trip or made an excuse not to spend time visiting someone who was lonely? Are all my affairs conducted with justice or do I look for the best deal, not the company with ethical employment practices?
Keith wasn’t afraid of bad news. His faith was never shaken. He was eager to meet the Lord and to be reunited with his wife. I never saw him afraid of what was to come because he trusted in the Lord.
Someone once said that you should think about what you would like said at your funeral and then live that way. I’m thinking.
P.S. Here's a link to the tribute posted by Keith's son Mark.