I'm not very good at good byes. I usually come across as cold and distant so that I don't let others see the "ugly cry." I can't help it. I don't like good byes. I understand their purpose and I would never want to leave without saying one but I've always had the feeling that a good bye is never really a good bye. I always leave feeling like I'll see that person again. Someday.
Perhaps its just part of my faith. I believe in an after life and hope that I'll see most of my friends and family there at some point. Eternal life is really one of the big sells for Christianity. I think I'd be miserable and despondent otherwise.
This weekend I say good-bye to Lighthouse. I've been in ministry here for five years. It's been a place where old friends from way back have come to work and worship with me and a place where I've met some new friends that will be a part of my life forever.
Other than a heart felt thank you and a good-bye "ya'll" I don't feel like I have much to say. What I leave behind has been what I've done over the past five years. I've been there for births, deaths, Baptisms, confirmations, celebrations, and various other memory makers. I've got enough lighthouse trinkets to open a shop and enough pictures to fill up a hard drive.
So until my book comes out with all the details of the things I've loved about Lighthouse, here's a top ten list of the things I'll remember most. I'm sure I've forgotten something, but ten things is too short for such a wonderful experience. Some of this is in Lighthouse private joke language so if you don't understand it, ask someone who attends there as its intended for them anyway:
1) Big Al - RIP
2) Every single VBS. The songs are still on my iPod and despite the heat of the barn I loved each one! especially Dori as baby Jesus
3) The tag team sermon I did with Mark. Which is also the moment Akeelah and the Bee became my favorite movie.
4) Ms. Effie signing
5) The many adults and youth who dedicated or re-dedicated their lives to Christ
6) A new crop of cheek-sistas
7) AOKs - especially the Murphy Family and the soup kitchen
8) Mark's "Game On" sermon
9) Centri-Kid - especially OMC
10) Filtering during all the youth retreats I went on.
I just thought of 5 more but I'll stop at 10 so as to tease you to buy my book. The following song really says it all and is by my favorite movie stars - The Muppets. Please read or listen to the words and remember to keep serving and sharing and shining.
Saying Goodbye from The Muppets Take Manhattan
"Saying goodbye, going away
Seems like goodbye's such a hard thing to say
Touching a hand, wondering why
It's time for saying goodbye
Saying goodbye, why is it sad?
Makes us remember the good times we've had
Much more to say, foolish to try
It's time for saying goodbye
Dont want to leave, but we both know
Sometimes it's better to go
Somehow I know we'll meet again
Not sure quite where, and I dont know just when
You're in my heart, so until then
Wanna smile, wanna cry
La la la la la la la la
It's time for saying goodbye"
Until Everyone Hears,