Not Hearing Goodbye

friends-581753__480I met *Sarah in a retail store.  She helped me shop for a ring.  She informed me that people are calling costume jewelry by another name now, “progressive jewelry.”  We both laughed a little.  Sarah was in her 60’s and had retired several years earlier so that she could travel.  She was back at work, but in a job that she liked, and she spoke of no regrets having used some of her savings to explore the world.  Sarah told me that her family was made up of diverse backgrounds.  She and her siblings were raised Muslim (although she did not identify herself as Muslim any longer), and she had relatives by marriage who were Jewish, as well as Catholic.  She said that family ties meant a lot to her.  She said that she celebrates Christmas.  Sarah’s life and family background were atypical, and she seemed to appreciate that.  I liked thinking of her family sitting together at holiday gatherings, differing beliefs and all.  I do believe that there is one true way for people to find close relationship and eternal life with God, through Jesus’ sacrifice, but it’s because of this that I can appreciate when people show love toward one another even and especially when their views differ.  It’s one way of truly loving our neighbors, which Jesus equated with loving God with our whole heart.  Before leaving, Sarah and I shared a hug.  I said goodbye and she responded by saying that she wasn’t going to say goodbye…that she had a feeling we would see each other again.  Not hearing goodbye from my new friend touched my heart.

” ‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’  Jesus replied, ” ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” – Matthew 22:36-39
(*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.)

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