As a bagpiper, I’m often called upon to play at weddings, military events, and funerals. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. The man had no family or friends, so the service was set at the county pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back woods.
I was not familiar with the backwoods and soon found myself lost. Being a typical man I didn’t stop to ask for directions. I finally arrived an hour late – the staff from the funeral home was long gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down. The vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play….
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.
And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep.
They wept. I wept. We all wept together.
When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car.
Though my head hung low my heart was full.
As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
(h/t: TC, via email)