I was raised in a pastor's family and later I was ordained a pastor. I watched my father officiate at funerals and lead the processions in cars to the cemetery. Later I did the same thing in my role as pastor.
In America it is tradition and, in fact, a law in most states, to pull over and stop as a funeral procession passes. When the last car in the procession passes, then you can go on your way. It seems not too much to ask to give up a minute or two of your time while family members are traveling to lay their loved-ones to rest. I have also been in such a procession as a family member, having laid my Father and Mother to rest. You look outside the window and wonder if anyone you see cares or knows the grief you are enduring. It is difficult to watch life going on as usual while in such an emotional state.
Yesterday, I was mowing our property. A funeral procession was passing right as I was at the road. I immediately stopped, turned off the mower, stood up and put my hat over my heart, until the procession passed. I knew what it was like to be a grieving family member in one of those cars. I only hoped that the family would get a quick glimpse of the respect they were due- that someone understood and cared.
Today, I went to the road to retrieve our garbage can. I saw a vehicle pass and stop on the side of the road. By the time I got to the back of the house, the car had pulled into our driveway. A woman got out and made a beeline for me. She intermediate said,
"Please, forgive me. I will try to keep from crying. Yesterday as we went to bury my mamma you stood at the side of the road and showed such respect for us. I want to thank you. That meant so much to us. We had to dodge other cars along the way who didn't stop. But then we saw you. God bless you."
I asked her how she and her family were doing, asked her name and that of her mamma. I embraced her, cried with her, and I told her we would be praying for them. With that, she got in her car and left.
'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."You never know... but sometimes you do...