And, I have lived a life of "good-byes".
Haven't we all? ...And, it doesn't seem to get any easier. In fact, I wonder, as I write this early morning, after sending my friends away in the dark to catch an early morning flight, does it get harder? Does it hurt more? As I love more deeply, connect more securely...And as I understand the fragility of life and the reality of space and time... maybe it hurts even more than it used to. I don't know.
As I watched my daughter cry her way through her thousandth "good-bye" this week, I couldn't tell her that she would learn to do "it better". Or, that it would get easier. Her tears just tugged at my already aching heart. I know, baby girl, I know... my heart and mouth whispered to her soul and ears.
"Good-byes" are just plain hard and there is no way around it. Watching one you love get into that car, onto that air plane, or walk out that door... just rips our hearts in a way that is significantly painful. It feels wrong. And, I wonder if it feels wrong because we simply weren't created to say "good-bye". It goes against our very nature.
Is it the life calling that our Father has given us... this overseas living and work... that makes it more difficult? I don't know. Likely our "good-byes" are more often; but, not more difficult. It just hurts to say "good-bye".
We can run from the pain. We can ignore it. We can choose not to enter in. God has creatively allowed our minds all sorts of strength and endurance that can push the pain away, or push it within. In some instances this is a beautiful gift... this strong mind's ability to endure and persevere. And, sometimes this running, this pushing away, this ignoring--- it is simply unhealthy.
So, while I whisper into my sweet girls ears... and listen to my own words with my hurting heart... I don't ask her to stop crying. When she breaks a bone, cuts her arm or bumps her head, I want her to be free to cry. This hurts! And, when I allow her to cry and I enter into her pain... wading knee deep in my own pain ...I have to agree with my darling girl. Yes, my love, This hurts!
Our bones were not created to be broken. They function best whole. But, in God's wisdom and kindness, He gave us the ability to heal. Our broken bones do heal themselves in time.
Our skin was not created to be cut. It functions best when it is whole. But, in God's wisdom and love, He gave our skin abilities to heal itself.
The family of God was not created to be separate. We function best together,... as a whole. But, in God's kindness, He gave us the ability to persevere through hard good-byes. He gave us the sweet ability to connect in such a way that our physical separateness can not fully alter our internal and spiritual connection with each other. We can stay whole and unified... even when apart.
And, as Father fills us with hope that our ailing bodies will soon be replaced by new "tents"---heavenly, healthy, whole bodies. So, our Father shares with us that in heaven there is "no sea".
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea." (Revelations 21)
For anyone who lives overseas, or anyone who pains with "good-byes", this verse is a great hope to our souls. No separation. No death. No early morning flights and no time zones. ...we, the Bride of God... the Body of Christ will be in a united. We will live in one "city", together, unified and whole forever. No sea.
And, no hard "good-byes".