As Frank sat in his folding chair and listened to the various eulogies given by those who knew Fred most closely, a disturbing pattern emerged. Instead of honoring the deceased by enumerating all of Fred’s good qualities, they began to recall all his ignoble traits. Frank had a bad side, and this bad behavior was magnified by his drinking binges.
All those sitting in chairs around Frank nodded their heads in agreement as each of these unflattering criticisms were voiced.
Frank felt uneasy about all these speakers saying negative things about his friend so he approached one of them at the end of the service and inquired why they were doing this.
“We don’t waste anything when it comes to spiritual growth,” responded the eulogist. “Our religion teaches us that humans are born into evil inclinations of all kinds and that we acquire God’s innocence only as each of us examines our deepest motives and root out all the negative leanings we can find. This gives God a place to set up a heavenly kingdom within us.
Frank began to see a method in their apparent madness.
The eulogist continued, “Everyone here is humbled by this sincerity as it serves to remind us all of our own imperfections. If we simply said good things about Fred’s life it would offer a false sense of calm and mask our true challenge to become an angel of God.