Saying Goodbye is one of the hardest things to do. It evokes change and who likes change in their lifestyle? Not many people. To say Goodbye albeit for a short time pulls on the heartstrings and the knowledge that you won’t be part of that person’s life from a given moment can be very sad.
This month I’ve had to say Goodbye in three different scenarios, the first was a distance one, someone I know via my friendship with their son. It was a goodbye brought on by illness as they entered a care home and suffered dementia. The person who I knew was no longer there – however it was their son who I felt for most and my heart and prayers go out to.
The second Goodbye was for an uncle. He was a distance uncle and I have some faint but good childhood memories of times with him. He was a church goer however gave way to many decisions which involved cruelty and were unwise. Upon his death I do wonder when he meets God it’ll be a case of, “I never knew you. Away form me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:23)
The third Goodbye is for our friend, Guy Salmon, who was tragically and swiftly taken from us in a road traffic accident last week. In this the pain, was of shock, heart-filled grief for his family, questions of why now Lord, and seeing comfort from the whole Church family and the many people he touched in his lifetime. He was a man of faith, generosity and encouragement and I know the words he will hear are: “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.
Goodbye – Fabric of our lives
Saying Goodbye is part of the fabric of life but it is often quite a challenge. It raises many questions and brings us nearer to God or further away if Anger takes hold. For those who come nearer to God, his comfort comes alongside and helps the pain to disseminate. Great memories and goodness are left and a reminder that this life is temporary, a brief shot at witnessing well and serving God in all that we do.
There are many goodbye scenes in the Bible. Laban challenges Jacob in Genesis 31:26 and expresses his pain of not saying goodbye in the way he wanted. “You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye.”
Orpah and Ruth say goodbye to Naomi (Ruth 1:14). Orpah leaves but Ruth finds the separation too painful and so clings and stays with Naomi.
Elisha begged Elijah to say goodbye to his father and mother before accompanying Elijah (1 Kings 19:20).
Jesus says Goodbye to his disciples in the last supper and his final goodbyes of prayers for himself, his disciples and future believers were given in the Garden later (John 16).
Our own Goodbyes have to come although we never know when our time is over, and if there will be time for Goodbyes to our loved ones. It raises many questions and brings us nearer to God or further away if anger takes hold. For those who come nearer to God, his comfort comes alongside and helps the pain to disseminate. Great memories and goodness are left and a reminder that this life is temporary, a brief shot at witnessing well and serving God in all that we do.
The ending of the poem by Gerald H Twombly, entitle The Dash, says:
I thought while looking on that stone,
The name, the dates, the dash that shown,
What impact will my work, the sum,
Will eternity be richer when my life is done?
Make Your Time Matter
So it is left for you and me to make our time here on earth matter. There is no point of regretting what we didn’t do, who we didn’t love or had planned to do. In all that we do, be joyous, grateful and thankful whenever possible and be a true and genuine son or daughter of God before we too have to say Goodbye.
Remember that when this goodbye comes it will also be a hello to seeing God face to face – so in the darkness of an ending comes the light of a new beginning.
But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night.
Then who will get everything you worked for?”
Luke 12:20 (NLT)
Listen to the Broadcast – Saying a Good Goodbye here or click on the picture below
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