The Tie That Binds
Jesus went on to say, "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."
No one likes good-byes. Even when they’re necessary, they make us sad. Maybe that’s because no good-bye is solitary. Each one is thick with all the other good-byes we’ve ever had to say. Each one is a compendium of memories, gratitude, and longing. There’s a vast storehouse of poignancy we revisit every time the word ‘good-bye’ is the only word left to say.
No one likes good-byes. Maybe that’s also because when we say good-bye, we sense that it’s practice. Each good-bye is a rehearsal for the final good-bye, the farewell of death. We may not be conscious of it in the moment, but we feel it all the same. Who wants to say such a word to someone we love?
No one likes good-byes. It was even hard for Jesus to tell his closest friends he was leaving them. So on that night he was arrested and led away, he didn’t say good-bye exactly. He said, “In a little while I won’t be with you, and in a little while I will.”
This was his way of saying that although death would part him from those he loves, after he goes, the Spirit will come. And when the holy Tie That Binds is poured out into their hearts, their separate hearts will never again be separate from him or from each other’s, but will become one heart truly.
Now there are no more good-byes that are forever good-byes, now there’s never a moment when we aren’t ‘in each other’—heart of each other’s hearts—because the indwelling Spirit is in us, creating a closeness closer than any other closeness human beings know.
This is a mystery and a gift for which I am more grateful than I know how to say.
Blessed be the Tie that Binds our hearts in endless love. Amen.