I  recently had lunch with to a very good friend of mine whose mother suffers from mental illness.  I was relating to her what our pastor/friend had said about my son, who has severe disabilities, that like all of us he exists to be loved by God.  She then went on to wonder if, given that, her mother would be made well in heaven.  Because if she were completely healed then it would be like she was a different person, like she wouldn’t be her mom anymore, the person God had made to love.

I said, “I think, that when we get to heaven, your mom will be who she was always meant to be.”

And I believe the same for everyone who, like my son and my friend’s mom, suffers here with disabilities, infirmities, mental impairment, genetic disorders.  These are the result of living in a lost and fallen world and when we get to heaven, those people will be who they were always meant to be.  As will we, who are crippled by sin and doubt and confusion, be who we were always meant to be.

My very dear friends, will you please grieve with me as I say goodbye to the boy who was meant to be.

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to play little league.

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to run and hurl himself into my arms after my absence.

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to ace the spelling test, fail his math quiz, win the science fair.

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to say, “I love you, Mama.”

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to shout, “I hate you, Mom.”

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to give me sleepless nights when he kept the car out past curfew.

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to wrestle on the floor with his daddy.

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to perfect his debate skills on me.

I am saying goodbye to the boy who was meant to be constantly complaining about his little sisters, for whom he would secretly do just about anything.

I am saying goodbye to the man-boy who was meant to engage me in long, late-night philosophical discussions.

I am saying goodbye to the young man who was meant to meet a girl, fall in love, and wait for her breathlessly at the front of the church.

I am saying goodbye to the man who was meant to play Mozart, build houses, or become a missionary.

Goodbye and goodbye and goodbye.

It seems like I’m always saying goodbye to this boy.

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But now, dear friends, let us rejoice together because we have the certain hope that one day, soon and soon, we will meet in heaven. 

And there I will get to say hello to the boy who was always meant to be.

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