When I pastored in Nashville, I became friends with the owner of a local funeral home. Several families in our congregation had used this funeral home and the funeral director had appreciated the care I had given people during the service. He asked me if I would be willing to serve families who had no pastor, and I said yes. If John Wesley was right, the world is our parish.
From time to time he would call me, give me the details, and I would meet with the family and plan the service. It placed me in close proximity to human pain, and I often had the opportunity to begin a relationship that later led to faith.
One day he called with an emergency. A man had died, a substitute pastor had been secured, the funeral had been planned, and the sub had called with an emergency of his own.
Could I rush over in the next 15 minutes and preach the sermon? I could. Grabbing a Bible and a suit coat, I headed to the funeral home and was met at the back door by the funeral director.