Good-byes are difficult! No matter how much you think it won’t bother you to say good-bye to someone, it’s just part of our emotional makeup to become a little teary-eyed when it’s time to bid farewell to someone who has been a part of your life for several years.
Today we said our final good-byes to the Pastor of our church. He had been with us for five years. In that five years, I had never become particularly attached to him, having loved the one before him so much that, in my mind, nobody could ever replace him. And so... I tolerated the new Pastor. I tried to work with him, but never felt really comfortable. I helped with Vacation Bible School as I had before, attended Bible studies, and took on the job of Communications Coordinator, which involved keeping up the website. Ah, but I still felt no strong connection to this Pastor.
However, in five years, 260 Sundays—we attended most of them—I suppose anything becomes a habit. I listened attentively to this man’s sermons, and without even knowing it, apparently became fonder of him than I realized. Today, when his voice broke a little while telling his congregation good-bye, I felt a tug at my heartstrings. Stop it! I thought. You’re happy to be getting a new Pastor. But there was no denying it; I felt something.
After the traditional luncheon for departing Pastors, we headed for the door, and there he was, right in our path. There was nothing to do but “make nice” and say a personal farewell. My husband and grandson shook his hand. I tried to remain cool but ended up giving him a warm hug instead, and wishing him well.
Author Nicholas Sparks once said: “The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.”