Hello and Goodbye

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A view of Taal Lake  from the hotel where we had an overnight stay.

Every time my daughter and her husband come home for Christmas or summer vacation, we are excited knowing that we will have a load of fun as a family. As a mother, I have to admit that I can’t be fully happy for I know that their two-week stay is fleeting and soon they will be flying away to the place where they live. I am sure this feeling is true to most people. This sentiment is expressed by the popular song of Sergio Mendes, “The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye.” And it is always like this. They come, they go. We say hello and then we say our sad goodbyes.

One of the joys in fetching someone from the airport is to see the happy faces of family members (and friends) as they wait for the arrival of their loved ones. Even if flights are delayed, they just wait contentedly for nothing can spoil the joy of seeing their beloved family member. A few more minutes (or hours) then a joyful agitation as the Balikbayan emerges from the immigration area pushing a cartload of luggage and balikbayan boxes. When they finally meet, there are burst of enthusiastic hellos and warm embraces. All their faces glow with excitement as they anticipate the happy times ahead of being together as a family. Their walk to a waiting van or car is their first activity together.

In contrast, sadness envelopes the hearts of people in the departure area. The sight of a husband and wife bidding each other goodbye, or a mother sending-off her daughter or son with a sad farewell is always a touching scene. In the departure area there are only silent goodbyes, tight embraces and muffled cries.

That is why it is very comforting to think of heaven. In heaven, there are no goodbyes, but eternal bliss of togetherness and endless fellowship with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father removed the trouble of “goodbye” and perfected “hello” so we can enjoy an endless worship of God together with the saints and angels who will never be separated.

In the mean time,  Christians are comforted with the thought that though we be separated from our loved ones , yet there is also the comfort that God will watch over them, even as He watches all of His children anywhere in the world.

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