Magazine article Anglican Journal

'I Never Got to Say Goodbye'

Magazine article Anglican Journal

'I Never Got to Say Goodbye'

Article excerpt

THE HIGH SCHOOL was right across the street from the church, yet they might have been in two different worlds. Two solitudes, or so it seemed, except for the half-dozen teens who attended church with their families.

There was little traffic between the two buildings unless you counted the teens who sat on the church steps and smoked during lunch hour. We never chased them away. We wanted them to feel that the church property was a safe and friendly place for them. We would greet them as we walked by. Perhaps a touch of acceptance would bridge the gap.

One day, one of the girls stuck her head round the office door and asked if she could talk. Tearfully, she told her story. Her boyfriend had been killed in a car accident two weeks before and she had not been able to face going to his funeral. She felt guilty and regretful. Poignantly, she said, "I never got to say goodbye." She felt that she could never recover the lost opportunity.

We talked. She heard the message that God is not bound by time and that God could fix the past right now in the present. She understood that both God and her boyfriend could and would forgive. She responded to the invitation to come and kneel at the altar rail for prayer.

We prayed together and, in the course of those prayers, she was invited to ask both God and her boyfriend for forgiveness. Then she was ready to make her goodbyes. Prayerfully, she voiced her farewell to her boyfriend right there at the altar rail. …

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