Barbara's Random Thoughts

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Saying Goodbye

"Christians never say goodbye."
--C.S. Lewis

When I left Southern California and moved to the Bay area, Paul was the only one who made me cry. I don't usually cry much, especially in front of others. But Paul made me cry. He was going to be starting yet another round of cancer treatments in the coming weeks, and when I walked into the church office that night to say goodbye, I wondered if it would be the last time I would see him.

Paul was diagnosed with cancer in February of 2000. It was a particularly aggressive cancer, and he went in and out of the hospital, in and out of serious, we-don't-think-he'll-make-it situations, and in and out of remission. You just never knew with Paul. He always was stubborn, but so was the cancer. So when I moved and the cancer was acting up again, I thought maybe this really was goodbye. It wasn't--he and the cancer went several more rounds, and I had several more visits with Paul.

But his battle with cancer ended yesterday.

I prayed for Paul's healing for so long. But prayers for healing aren't always answered in the way we'd like. Sometimes the answer is that healing will come through death. There is no sickness, no pain, no cancer in heaven. Cancer ravaged Paul's body for so long, and death has finally brought Paul healing. I'm certain that right now he is reveling in being cancer-free, singing his heart out before God. I'm certain I'll see Paul again; certain that the last time I saw him wasn't really goodbye. But I'll miss him.

Paul's been a huge influence in my life. I've learned so much from him in so many ways--musically, personally, and spiritually. I've known him for 17 years, as my music director, pastor, boss, and friend. I can't imagine my home church without him. But I can imagine him in heaven, and the thought brings a smile to my face.
| posted by Barbara | 11:07 PM