Saturday, September 03, 2016

No More Goodbyes by Rose McCormick Brandon

Goodbyes don’t come easily for me. When moving meant saying goodbye to co-workers, I feared being swept away by sentimentality, weeping uncontrollably like I did at my graduation. In photos of that event my eyes match my bouquet of red roses.
I come from a long line of crybabies and I blame them, especially the Irish, for the maudlin gene. I need a dose of my Scottish friend's favourite rendition of goodbye - "Shove off!" Nobody at the office told me to shove off. They dripped kindness all over me. The memory of their hugs clings to my shoulders, a reminder of how blessed I am to have people in my life who make saying goodbye so hard.
Snoopy summed up my feelings about the word goodbye:
“Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.”
Goodbye is a useful word, a short form of "God be with you." We use goodbye when we fly out the door to run an errand or to end a telephone conversation. We wave it, blow kisses with it, and even slam doors with it.
Goodbye always brings up questions: Where are you going? Can I come with you? How long will you be gone? When will you come back?
These are the same questions asked by Jesus' followers when He was making his goodbyes. (John 14:1-14) Jesus answered: I'm going to the Father. Yes you can come but not yet. Don't worry, I won't leave you alone. The Holy Spirit will be your constant companion. I'll get a room ready for you so you can come and live with Me. I'll be gone for what I consider a short time. When we meet again it will be forever.
Goodbye is an earthly word not an eternal one. We won't use it in our forever home with Jesus. No more goodbyes. Only hellos.
"I'm on my way to get a room ready for you. and if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live." John 14:3,4
 Rose McCormick Brandon is the author of four books, including One Good Word Makes all the Difference and Promises of Home - Stories of Canada's British Home Children. She writes personal essays and devotionals for several publications.


Peter Black said...

Pensive and poignant. Thanks Rose. The Charlie Brown saying puts it so well. Yesterday the random screensaver mode on our computer for a few seconds displayed a snapshot of May and our two preschoolers and me as we were at the point of saying our Goodbyes to my mom and dad at the airport in Scotland, when we were about to leave them for our 'new life' and ministry in Canada (that was 42 years ago).
I had a fresh sense of the sadness (or maybe more bitter-sweet feelings) my parents likely felt right then.
Mom and Dad have gone ahead of us to 'the place prepared,' and by God's grace and in His time we'll meet again. ~~+~~

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Ah yes, that was a crossroads goodbye. Isn't it interesting that the word, the feeling of it brings up sorrow even years later. Yet, at the same time, joy as you look forward to meeting them again in our forever home. As believers we can be thankful for the joy part of goodbye. Others know only the sorrow.

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