here & there

We were driving home late last night, from yet another going away party. I looked over at Price in the passenger's seat, cradling the now-empty plates of food we carried and the leftover whiskey sour we made from scratch. We both had tears in our eyes and our voices heaved heavy sighs as we talked again of the change and the difference and the far-awayness of our friends.

It's not supposed to be this way, he said. It's like we've had a little taste of heaven. It's been so good. People aren't supposed to move away. We're not supposed to be apart.

The Fall wrecks us, again and again, day after day, moment after moment.

Would we have done it differently, had we been the first? I have more sin in me than Eve ever dreamed of, I think.

And then, he said, even when we're together, we hate each other. We love each other and we hate each other.

Those words seared me. It's so true. We've lived and laughed and loved in community for so long, but I can't count the number of times I've fought - out loud or in my heart - with everyone I call friend. We love each other desperately, but no relationship in our midst is spared pride, envy, fear, possessiveness, anger, misunderstandings, gossip, lies.

It's all so broken, he said. It's all so sad.

It is broken. It is sad. But it's not without hope.

We're clinging to hope now. We have to, because without it, none of this makes sense. And my wise, wonderful, profound husband is so right.

We've had a little taste of heaven here.

And that's why all of these good-byes are painful but not heartbreaking. Not only are these names and faces and relationships burned into our hearts in ways that will never, ever change here on earth, but we can together rejoice and hope for the day when it all will be redeemed - when these broken relationships and these distances won't even exist in our memories. Because we aren't just earthly family.

We have hope and we have faith and we have love.

And as our wise pastor told us just a few weeks ago, we're going to a place where we won't need hope because everything will be fulfilled, and we won't need faith because all the promises will have come true, but we'll still have love, because it's the greatest of these things.

I am so grateful tonight to have been made for another world, but so thankful for the tastes of it that we are enjoying now.

If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. {C.S. Lewis}