Soon, very soon, the time will come for us to say our good-byes. Until that time, I am trying to be sure to say everything else that I want to say — which makes writing anything, much less a final newsletter column, an exceedingly difficult task! What to say? How to say it all?
I realized that I have nothing left to say that I have not said before, or that I have not said better than I can now. What I want to tell you cannot be written. Our language does not have the words, or, at least, my skill falls far short.
Through our time together, I have hoped to write upon your heart, not of my affection for you, but of God’s great love. I have tried to write again and again the message of how he made you, how he loves you, how he saved you, and how he wants to be with you; to tell the story of his care for you and faithfulness to you. You were made to know and delight in the love of God, who knows and delights in you.
This love has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and it has been made present in our lives by the power of his Spirit who is with us now. I have hoped to show you the beauty of this love, so that above all else, you might seek to find it, and to be found by it at the foot of the cross, under the shadow of his love.
Any fault in the telling has been mine alone. His love for you, perfect and pure, unconditional and enduring, is not changed by how well I told the story, even as your failures and your successes do not change his love for you.
And if I have told this story even the least bit faithfully, there is nothing left to say now. You already know how much you are loved — by me and by the Lord. You already know how much I miss you. You already know something of the depths of my gratitude and the heights of my hopes for you.
All that is left is to say goodbye.
So, we say goodbye, with our hearts full of joy for our time together, full of sorrow at our parting, and full of hope for the days to come.
In his love,