Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Michael's Spiritual Journey {Part 1}

A week or so after Michael's memorial service, I got a call from a musician friend of his. I think this guy might have been a member of the swing band Michael played with for many years. Anyway, he wanted to tell me how much he enjoyed the service but that he'd heard from other people who were there (he didn't name names) that they didn't appreciate the "Christian message" aspect to it. In fact, he said they had said that they would have preferred it if the service had just ended after the tribute video. Needless to say, I was taken aback.

Now the guy who called me is a Christian, so he didn't have a problem with it, but he thought it would be great if I'd write a letter or something to these other people and explain how Michael came to be a Christian because they had not known that side of him. I don't know who I thought was being more ridiculous - the people who had complained initially, or the guy I was listening to.

I told him I didn't think that anything from me was going to change their hearts. After all, Pastor Ray's message was low key, and it was just part of the whole. He spoke a bit about Michael's spiritual journey, what Christ has to offer all of us, and the choice we all have to make in regards to the gospel - accept it or reject it. You know, some people come to a service like that looking for spiritual direction in the wake of their loss. Hearing the gospel message might be a turning point for them, and as Christians we are called to share the gospel with the world.

Anyway, I have heard these sorts of complaints from other people about Christian memorial services before. They are heartless and in the worst taste. Really, who goes to any kind of funeral/memorial service and then complains about the way it's done? It's not a movie or a show to be critiqued. Come on people! What happened to if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all? People bend over backwards to be politically correct about all kinds of things, but Christian bashing is okay apparently. Whatever...

Anyway , since then I have been wanting to write here about Michael's spiritual journey - the journey that led him to the Cross. Michael had been raised in a Catholic home. His mother saw to it that he was baptized and received his first communion, but when he was still rather young she told him (and his brothers and sisters) that he didn't have to go to church anymore. So, he didn't. If my parents had told me that when I was a kid, I would have made the same choice. I thank the Lord that wasn't an option for me. By the time we met, he was agnostic at best, and he had some philosophies that he loosely adhered to that were based in Eastern religions. He liked to refer to himself as "spiritual".

When I first met Michael back in 1992 or 1993, it was because of our involvement at church. I've written here before that I was a volunteer singer on the worship team, and he was a hired musician in the praise band. That's how we got to know each other. When we first started spending large amounts of time talking, I remember him saying to me that perhaps I was the one who would lead him into a relationship with Christ. At the time, I didn't really know what to make of that. Was he serious? Was that what he wanted me to do? If so, how was I supposed to do that?

To be continued...


  1. Joannah, you have me sitting on the edge of my seat here in NC! I can't wait to read more :)

  2. Ditto, Elaine! I'm really looking forward to reading more of Michael's story. Thank you for choosing to share it with us!

  3. I can`t tell you how much it disturbs me to know that people leave a memorial service only to critique the service. It disturbs me even more to know that those that were privy to the critique take it upon themselves to inform the family.

    Disturbing, very disturbing.

  4. First - seriously people still shock me... not sure why but reading about these peoples complaints just floored me.
    Second - I look forward to reading the continuation of Michael's journey.

  5. I can't believe anyone would voice complaints about a memorial service! Seriously in shock here. And sorry that you had to hear that.

  6. Ridiculous...those people are hypersensitive...must really have gotten to them...obviously not a bad thing ;-)

    As for Michael's story...I'm so glad you are writing it here...Wow! That's amazing that he was a hired musician for a praise band...talk about God drawing someone to himself! Amazing! I really look forward to hearing the rest of this! What a testimony this will turn out to be...of that I am sure!

    Praying and praying for you...Hope your week is going well! Love you so much! Janine XO

  7. It is ridiculous that people would say that. More than that...insensitive and rude. But it also makes me think that maybe the Holy Spirit was nudging them. People who truly don't care are not affected either way, kwim? I have heard of MANY people coming to Christ through a memorial service! And I can't wait to hear the rest of Michael's story!

  8. God has you right where he needed you most. Now be a light for him as well in those that have no light because you shines so bright.

    Michael is smiling down on you

  9. I was so excited to see you had posted part 2 of your story, but I am having trouble opening it :( Is anyone else??? Blogger is telling me the page isn't found.


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