My mom, sister and I spent the better half of yesterday morning at Concord AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church in Miccouskee, FL. Our long time, and sweet friend Betty Jones passed away last Saturday morning after a long battle with a rare form of muscle cancer.
Betty was one of 12 children, and lived outside of T-town one a plot of land with her family. You wind down their carpeted dirt road to find 4 trailers sitting next to one other. They are her brothers and sisters- Gussie, Inez, Freddie, Easter and Betty.
Betty didn’t have much monetarily, but I have never seen someone with so MUCH love, faith and happiness. She found happiness in the simplest of things. We should all be more Betty-like.
This service was nothing like my typical Episcopal or Methodist services that I am used it. Truthfully, it was so much better.
There were no hymns, all the songs and lyric were on the congregation’s hearts- no books needed.
There was lots of praise, Amens from the people sitting behind us, and “praise Jesus’!”.
I am sure we stuck out, the only three white people there. Fanning ourselves with the MLK fans that were distributed by the funeral home staff.
But we were truly moved by the entire service.
One of the things that their pastor said, that really touched me was that We all loved Betty. And that was true. But as much as we loved her, God loved her even more.
Towards the end, the family was proceeding out- and Betty’s sister Gussie saw us, and reached out her hand for us. And of course we all started crying all over again.
Everyone else was celebrating Betty’s life, and that she was with her Father- having a conversation with God- we just kept crying,
It’s amazing to see how different people, who worship the same God, can worship so much differently.
When we left, I said to my Mom.. “You know it’s a good funeral when you leave and are excited about when it’s your turn to go!”
Sweet ol‘ Betty. We will miss her until we see her again!