01 September 2012

There's an old joke

about how Lutherans don't like change. I totally get it. I hate it.

Today I put my eldest daughter, my only grandson and my wife on a plane for NC. True, I'll see her in a few short days, but the fact is she, Dean and Sawyer have moved on. We raise them for this, of course, but it doesn't ease the pain of their leaving one little bit.

Don't get me wrong—I'm delighted for them, for the parish in Norlina that will be blessed by them, and for the chance to settle down after all the years of moving. But the thought of the long stretch of months without seeing and hugging my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson truly tugs at the heart.

In the midst of this pain, there are three things I am so thankful for. I am thankful we share together faith in the promises of God; I am thankful for the amazing gift of the Holy Eucharist and how distance simply dissolves when we share it together; I am thankful for the gift of prayer, and how when we lay our loved ones before the throne of God in prayer, we are simply together in the most profound and joyous way.

Dean, Lauren, and Sawyer, I will miss you more than words can ever begin to say. But this I promise: as often as we come to the Lord's Table, we'll be eating together still. And there will not a day go by when I will not remember you in prayer to Him whose love for you has no limits, no end. And when I leave this earthly pilgrimage, I do not believe that the prayers cease. They continue with greater fervor until we are gathered home together. Home into that true and lasting home where there are simply no goodbyes. Forever together!

Thank you, Lord, for bringing them each one into my life. Keep them safe and keep them yours. Amen.

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