My daughter coined the word ‘happysad’ recently which fits in so many ways and places. You will know that as a Christian, I spend a lot of time at church and in the company of other Christians, although I have to say, not exclusively. I enjoy the company of all sorts of people, whether believers or not! So, where does this word ‘happysad’ come in?

The kind of church service I enjoy best involves and includes: reverence without gimmicks, a group of friendly people from all parts of society who make the stranger welcome, hearty congregational singing that lifts the roof, the sound of people whispering an ‘amen’ or even speaking it out loud, a tear wiped away when an eternal truth makes someone emotional by word or song, a tear wiped, a clear Gospel message which leaves the listener challenged to the point of making a life changing decision to follow Jesus more closely, the right hand of fellowship and the occasional hug. I was at such a church service today.

The occasion was made better in the fact that it was not my usual church or group of believers, but the sense of fellowship was acute and unmistakably a good, clear, Christian, Gospel witness. An hour well spent. I left encouraged in my faith, and challenged to be a better person while I live and enjoy the little time I have left on this earth. This kind of church service doesn’t happen every week, or in every church.

Oh, didn’t I say? I was at a celebration of a life well lived, a lady who is literally a saint in the courts of heaven. Her eternal destiny was, and is, known, confirmed, and secure. A church where pastors can speak freely without compromise, hesitation or choosing their words carefully in case they offend someone. They presented the Gospel of the saving Power of the Lord Jesus Christ and they were respected for their candour without exception.

Yes, I was at a funeral. My only question is this: Why should I attend a funeral service, to hear the Gospel where it is not taken as an offence to the listeners? And as for that word ‘happysad’? Does it make more sense now?


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