“And so, with the tearful good-byes behind us, we were on our way.” Acts 21:1 (The Message Bible)
In the days of Paul and other early missionaries, goodbyes often meant that the parties would never meet again, because many were put in prison or killed.
When I became engaged to a Navy guy, I had no idea how painful goodbyes could be—especially at an airport termination. For a total of four years, (two engaged and two married), I experienced many tearful goodbyes to my sailor. Glen spent months at sea, and as phone calls were out of the question, six days a week I wore a path to the mailbox looking for a letter from him. When I didn’t receive a letter, I found comfort in reading the old letters over and over again.
For years after Glen’s discharge from the service, I hated going to the airport. Even today, when I see military men and women saying goodbye at an airport, I get that old lonely airport-gut feeling. Today, I think how much easier it must be for loved ones to say goodbye. We didn’t have cell phones, e-mail, and couldn’t have imagined the wonder of Skpe. Even then, I know nothing eases the pain of separation more than returning to the airport to receive the loved one back into your arms.
Dear Lord, I am grateful I never need to say goodbye to you. Amen.