There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given 3 months to life. 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 to 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 buried with a fork in my right hand.”
The Pastor stood looking at the 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 that time on I have always tried to pass the message along it’s the message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, somebody would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…. Like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!”
“So, I just want people to see me there in the casket with a fork in my hand and I 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 good-bye. 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 ever did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many other people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.
So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share.