As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a
funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man.
He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's
cemetery in the Kentucky backcountry.
As I was not familiar with the rural roads, I got lost;
and being a typical man I didn't stop for directions.
I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral director
had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.
I felt bad and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side
of the grave and looked down and 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.
Embarrassed about being late, and feeling sad for this poor man
with no family and friends, I put my heart and soul into the music.
Overcome with emotion, I played like I've never played before for this forgotten 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,
"Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothing like that before,
and I've been putting in septic tanks for years."