12 LazarusMar 16th, 2008 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Writing
An account of Lazarus rising from the dead, as given by his undertaker
Took the business over from my father, I did, and he learned it from his father. Undertakers to all classes of society; discreet and professional, quality at a price you can afford.
Look at that there, as fine a piece of polished oak as you could wish to see, and not much more expensive than the standard range.
Come through to the office here, we’ll find somewhere to sit down. We’re busy today, it’s one of the problems in our business – you never know when the customers will arrive. Have a seat there.
Yes. This is a very odd business, very odd altogether. I can understand you would have to make inquiries, we couldn’t have such things happening and not expect there to be a few questions.
Let me find the file. Here we are.
This being a large funeral, all of our staff were involved. Perhaps that’s a good thing when you look at how things turned out. The more witnesses there are, the more we can be sure of the circumstances.
Will you want to question everyone who was there?
You won’t. Well, that’s a relief. It’s not that we made any mistakes, but you know how it is. We need people’s trust and if there are lots of questions they begin to say that there can’t be smoke without fire, and in no time at all there are all sorts of silly stories going around.
What happened that day?
Well, we got called and we went through our usual procedures and everything seemed very straightforward.
Was he definitely dead? Of course he was definitely dead! Do you think we make a habit of burying people who are not dead? Can you imagine what would happen to business if there was the merest hint that we were anything but professional?
He was definitely dead. He had been ill for a while. Family and friends had been summoned and had time to get there. Funny thing was that there was one man they were waiting for who didn’t turn up. They got very agitated; thought that he’d had long enough time to be with them.
Anyway, this man they were waiting for hadn’t arrived and I had to tell them that we had to go ahead. The law is very clear about these things, we couldn’t delay. If the man was coming, he would have been there already.
Anyway, it was straightforward enough, or it was, until the man they had been waiting for turned up four days after the funeral. It must have been deliberate; he could have been there long before.
How did I know what happened? Because I heard something was happening and went along to watch.
What did he do? I’ll tell you. He went to the grave and she shouted, “Lazarus, come out”, and as sure as I am sitting here, Lazarus walks out, still in the grave clothes.
I’ve never seen anything like it, never in my life. I’m telling you, Lazarus was dead and then he wasn’t dead. He was walking around like the rest of us.
But who is going to believe it? Who is going to believe a story about a man coming back from the dead?
I mean to say, people don’t come back from the dead, do they?