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This past Sunday we said our goodbyes to the church. It was great to see new and old faces of so many come out. There is a lot of pain in saying good-bye to people. It can be easy to want to run from emotion or to hide the pain in recognizing that our time in Russellville has come to end however that would not be the full understanding of the situation, the pain is evidence that there is also true love. I shared this quote by C.S. Lewis during our time together

Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

Our lives are entangled with the saints in Russellville and always will be as we go out, we love them and leaving them hurts, there is no avoiding it, it is part of suffering in this body. Again Lewis puts into words what I feel in my heart

They say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.

As James aptly reminded me this week although we may be apart- Its never good-bye.

Sunday wasn’t all tears (the strategic distribution of more kleenex boxes than I have ever witnessed amassed in one room was very helpful) it was also a time to witness the potluck of all potlucks.

Plate one was lunch, plate 2 was rationalized as dinner, plate three was- “Hey, I’m going to Mongolia and I’m not going to get to eat this Southern goodness for a long time. And on top of all this there was pie- not just any pie but Miss Barbara’s peanut butter pie- words escape the description of this delight but WOW- what a potluck to go out on.

With love and thanks to all in Russellville