We said goodbye to a friend yesterday. He’s been like one of our boys for a long time and now he’s off on an adventure and so yesterday afternoon after church, like so many Sunday afternoons past, he spent time with us and ate with us and then it was time for him to leave.

IMG_2937 We said goodbye and there were tears and jokes because… boys.

Today is Christmas Eve eve and I have things to do. I have a little boy who needs his laundry done and his bag packed, and I bet the rest of us would like some clean socks, too, and I need to run to town for milk and hopefully to hold a little babe and hug her mom for a few minutes, and we’re out of bread so there’s that.

But I’m thinking of a boy and a goodbye and of how things end. They just do.

Even Advent.

There’s a looming goodbye around the corner. A farewell to a season of waiting, resting, and expecting. And beyond, there is a birth and a hello.

And this is the sacrificial sweetness of goodbyes, for without them the hellos would be impossible.

We call it hope.