Pastor’s Perspective 02-26-19

The older I get, the more I treasure the moments we have together with our children and grandchildren. Our son’s 2-week R&R from Afghanistan earlier this month was no exception. Josh timed his R&R to hopefully be home for the birth of his third son. The plan worked beautifully! He flew into RDU on Monday evening, the day before Amber’s due date. Chase was born Wednesday morning. Josh’s sister and twin brother both made trips to Fayetteville to see him and the new baby. It was a busy two weeks that flew by all too quickly. But we all have new memories of our time together.
One of those memories is the first thing Josh’s 3-year-old son said when he saw his dad for the first time in months. Amber had kept the boys up past their bedtime so they could see their daddy before they went to sleep. They knew he was coming home, but they didn’t know when. The boys were playing with cars on our living room floor when their dad walked into the room to surprise them. Caleb (3) saw him first and just stared at him without saying a word. When Carson (5) finally looked up, he shouted, “Hi, daddy!” I had to prompt them both to come give him a hug. They rushed into his arms, bringing tears to my eyes. It was Caleb’s first words that I wasn’t prepared for. He still hadn’t said anything to his dad when he looked at me and Gaye and asked, “Does daddy have to go back?” Two minutes with his dad and the first question he is processing in his 3-year-old mind is whether his daddy is back for good… or not.
We all felt the weight of the answer to that question last week. My other son and I picked Josh up at his home to take him back to the airport. There were hugs, quick expressions of love, and, of course, a few tears. “Daddy has to go,” my son said. And we were gone. My grandson’s question two weeks earlier was playing in my head. I’ve often thought about how Jesus’ mother must have felt as the time of His departure drew near. The Bible says, “Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother.” Do you have to go, son? Do you have to leave this way?
I am already looking forward to the day our son comes home… for good. And even more to the day our Savior returns to take us home… for good. No more sadness. No more tears. No more separation. Time together. Forever!
See you Sunday! ~ John