I had an interesting experience at the back of a funeral procession a few years ago.
The funeral was in Savannah, and so was the graveside service. The police in Savannah rarely give escorts for funeral processions, and this time was no exception.
The funeral director, however, efficiently got the procession of cars out of the church parking lot and onto the busy city street. He had signs saying “funeral” on the lead cars, and even without a police escort, the oncoming traffic stopped and allowed the procession to exit and proceed through every traffic signal.
I got in line near the back, and followed along on the four-lane city street. As we approached a red light in the left lane, a police car pulled out of a parking lot and rode alongside me in the right lane. The hearse was at least 30 cars ahead of me, so it was not obvious to the officer that he was near the end of a funeral procession. He saw the three cars in front of me go through the red light, and I went through the red light, and the lady behind me went through it as well. I thought, “This is going to be interesting to see how this cop reacts.”
Sure enough, the policeman’s light started flashing on top of his patrol car as he pulled in behind the lady right behind me. I could see her in my mirror: she was wearing a red dress, a bonnet and was sternly looking straight ahead, ignoring the flashing lights behind her as the funeral procession continued.
Frustrated by this, the cop got in the middle turn lane to her left, and pulled beside her. Amused, I looked in my rear view mirror to see what would happen next. I saw her roll down her window as she continued, and say something to him. I don’t know what she said, but I could tell it was said with conviction.
Immediately the policeman turned off his lights, slowed down, and made a U-turn, leaving us to continue on our way to the cemetery. When we got to our destination, I asked the lady, “What did you say to him? Did you tell him to either lead our procession or leave you alone?” She replied with a smirk, “Something like that.”
This reminds me of a spiritual truth for believers in Christ. Believer, the next time the devil turns on his blue lights of condemnation and reminds you of how you are a sinner guilty of breaking the law, you remind him who you’re with. You’re following Jesus, your sins are forgiven, so the devil can no longer accuse you of your sins. The apostle Paul says it like this in 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (HCSB): “the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
I’m not saying this is a license to drive like the devil. I wouldn’t want a policeman to see the fish on my car and surmise by my driving that I stole the car!
(Copyright 2010 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Friday for a mix of religion and humor. For more “Holy Humor,” go to the Web site of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.)