I sort of thought/wished/hoped that I was done with emotionally exhaustion this month – I mean, at some point you hit the end of your reserve, right?
Emotionally, I felt a little dead inside this morning. I overslept, due in part to an allergy pill taken late Saturday evening (those little buggers knock me out), and arrived late to church, missing the first half section of music.
Part of the sermon by my pastor, Kevin, (based on the text of Exodus 34) focused on the glory of God, where Moses’ face literally shone from being on the mountain with the Lord that he wore a veil over his face.
I was reminded yet again of Revelation 21-22, talking about the new heaven and new earth:
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. — Revelation 21:22-26
And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. — Revelation 22:5
Our Gathering closed with us singing It is Well with my Soul (which I’ve previously mentioned knocks me over at times). Once again, I am reminded that, however drastic my trials may seem, I haven’t lost all that is precious to me like the writer of that hymn. If he could face heartbreaking losses, and still declare his soul is well (because he trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior), how can I not do the same?
Still feeling numb after the Gathering, a dear, dear friend came up to me and I realized she was telling me she was moving before the next Sunday and this would be our last chance to see one another before the cross-country move.
My reaction was wooden. “Oh, okay…” *hug* “I knew this day was coming eventually…” She remembered a card for me was in the car. “Don’t move, I’ll be right back.”
I turned to my husband, “Hayley is telling me goodbye.” *light dawns* “Oh! She’s saying goodbye!” And I burst into tears (I did mention I was a little slow on the uptake this morning?).
I was so grateful for that break so I could absorb the full meaning of the moment. When she returned, I threw my arms around her and tried (through tears) to convey some of the depth of all she meant in my life and a fumbled blessing for her future.
How do you sum all that someone means to you and all your hopes for them in a 5 minute conversation? 😕
We reminded each other that as Christians, we don’t say goodbye. There will be a heavenly reunion some day.
As I drove away from the church building, the conversation brought to mind a passage from my favorite book, A Severe Mercy. The author, Sheldon Vanauken, and C. S. Lewis are parting ways, as Vanauken and his wife, Davy, head back to the States.
On that last day I met C.S. Lewis at the Eastgate for lunch. We talked, I recall, about death or, rather, awakening after death. Whatever it would be like, we thought, our response to it would be “Why, of course! Of course it’s like this. How else could it have possibly been.” We both chuckled at that. I said it would be a sort of coming home, and he agreed. Lewis said that he hoped Davy and I would be coming back to England soon, for we mustn’t get out of touch. “At all events,” he said with a cheerful grin, “we’ll certainly meet again, here – or there.” Then it was time to go, and we drained our mugs. When we emerged on to the busy High with the traffic streaming past, we shook hands, and he said: “I shan’t say goodbye. We’ll meet again.” Then he plunged into the traffic. I stood there watching him. When he reached the pavement on the other side, he turned round as though he knew somehow that I would still be standing there in front of the Eastgate. Then he raised his voice in a great roar that easily overcame the noise of the cars and buses. Heads turned and at least one car swerved. “Besides,” he bellowed with a great grin, “Christians NEVER say goodbye!”
Part of life on this earth includes farewells through broken relationships, exciting cross-country moves, parting by death, or the slow separation of lives going in different directions. When we step back from the momentary pain and glimpse the big picture of eternity, today’s parting will feel more like someone stepped out to run an errand and will return in a moment.
A sort of coming home.
Isn’t that beautiful? I can cling to this while I wait. We can rest in this.
Today is day 27 of the rest series. You can read them all here.