I missed posting here last Friday– we were busy planning my mom’s funeral. Mom died last week at the age of 89. We spent most of last week planning how to say our last goodbyes.
Goodbyes are never easy. And those that come with death are painful. We will miss our Mom, Grandma, Great-grandma, friend, cousin, neighbor, aunt, surrogate mom, and all the other roles she filled during her earthly life. We will miss her smile, her warm friendship, her faithfulness, her drive and passion, her energy, and her zest for life and adventure. I used to call or visit her every day. I will never again hear her voice in this life. I will never again hold her hand or share a laugh with her on this side of heaven.
But saying goodbye, for Christians, is NEVER permanent. I have said my very last goodbye to Mom, because someday, I will say “Hello!” to her again. And along with her, I will be welcomed into eternity by the One who created me and loves me even more than Mom did! No more painful partings; no more wondering when I will see her or speak to her again.
She is with so many loved ones to whom she had to say, “goodbye” over the years. And all of them are joyful and secure in the knowledge that there will be no more “goodbyes” in Heaven.
Mom was a prayer warrior, as I have said before. She prayed daily, multiple times a day, lifting up friends, relatives, and even strangers. And I will miss knowing that she is praying for me. But there is Someone Else who is praying for me daily– even constantly! Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us every moment!
His disciples were in anguish at the thought of having to say “goodbye.” But Jesus told them to be glad, because He would send a comforter, the Holy Spirit, to them after He went away. They said their last “goodbye” to their beloved Teacher, but He didn’t leave them alone to grieve. He left them with a mission to achieve. He also left them with a promise that He was coming back! And this time, He would bring them to their eternal home in Glory!
And Mom has done something similar. She left a legacy of caring and praying and sharing the Gospel. She left hundreds with hope and peace for their future. And now it’s important to carry the baton; to finish our leg of the race, and continue the mission that Jesus passed on to His disciples long ago; the legacy that was passed to Mom, and that she has passed on to us. Someday, all the “last goodbyes” will have been said; all the last bitter tears shed, and we will all celebrate the arrival of God’s Glory. The only thing left to bid “goodbye” will be Sin and Death, grief and mourning.
I thank God for “Last Goodbyes.” Because I know that Goodbye is never the end for those of us who know Christ. We will be sad for awhile, but our grief will be swallowed up in joy and victory!
Goodbye, Dear Mom– for now. You are safe and secure. Your prayers have been answered, and ours continue in hope and confidence. Amen!