I really do not like to have to say goodbye to people. I hate it even more when I have to say goodbye to people I have come to know, and love and respect. When we build relationship with one another we take for granted the fact that we can have time together. It becomes painfully obvious at times that time together is a precious commodity.
Today Catherinanne and I said farewell to Captains Steve and Erika White and our little buddies Owen and Benjamin. They will move tomorrow to Toronto and while we may have opportunity to see each other agin from time to time we will certainly miss having them just down the road. These four fellow natives of Newfoundland have been good friends to us and we have shared great times together since meeting. Speaking of that, it is amazing how close we can get to people in a short time. We only meet the Whites in December of 2007 and since that time have enjoyed a great friendship.
Steve and Erika are gifted and devoted servants of God who in their new positions as Secretary for Youth and Secretary for Children will do great work for God. They have loved well the people of Eastwood Citadel and have been good witnesses to pastoral love and devotion as ministers to that church community. Benjamin and Owen are joyful and full of life and are being nurtured by great parents to be good people. They have been a great witness to me.
A quick story couple of Stories: a few months back I was at the White household for dinner and Owen was honoured with offering grace. He folded his little hands together and he looked slightly toward the ceiling, his eyes shut so gently and began, God is Great…." When I hear the word ‘grace’ I think of Owen. It is a little moment when the Holy Spirit was so present I could taste glory – I am so grateful for the moments.
Benjamin reminded me one day how precious the love of a parent can be. He had been sick for a couple of days and had been home from school and day care. I was visiting the good Captain and he was tending to his sick little boy. Benjamin was in his daddy’s arms and you could see that he was not feeling well at all. Looking at him at one point that day I saw so much more than a sick little child. He was so safe and so secure in his father’s arms that it brought tears to my eyes. That is the security we long for in God’s arms. He looked to his Dad with such love and trust, hurting and yet knowing that his father would care for him and see him through it. I went away that day praying for the ability to have that same trust in God.
Steve and Erika have been such good friends and confidants that I will indeed miss them, as will Catherinanne. All I can say tonight is – I am sad! Happy for Steve and Erika and the boys – but I am sad….
Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos. ~Charles M. Schulz