"They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again." Acts 20:38
These days of the Corona Virus Pandemic keep all of us aware that life is short, sometimes harsh and that most people die alone. This a frightening and confusing picture. In the United States we have tried to create a world in which people, even when they are hospitalized, are surrounded by family and friends as they prepare to die. This is not, however, what happens to most people in the world, and it is not the picture Acts of the Apostles paints for us as Paul leaves Rome and heads back to Jerusalem.
Paul has alerted his disciples that he will most probably never see them again and he wants his followers to be at peace even though he knows they will face terrible trials for the sake of the Gospel. Can we do the same? Can we say to friends and family that we trust God completely to help us through our struggles, and that even if we don't see them again, we know that our love for one another was authentic, real and lasting? If this is not how we have lived, then we need to begin to live this way today and trust God to do the rest.
Go beyond your feelings today and embrace someone with prayer and love who you have avoided.
What can you do today to trust God to lead you toward authentic reconciliation and hope?