The Passenger Log
Stardate 16 August 2021
Another’s Voyage Ends
One thing I have learned as I have been on this voyage is that there many others on journeys of their own. You may remember our friend L who completed her voyage a month or so ago. Her earthly birthday was just this week. Our condolences again to her family.
As I write this, the Starship GENESIS two-seven hovers quietly above the Compassionate Care Center in Canton, Ohio to allow The Passenger to be with a dear friend, I’ll call him J. He is a fellow cop, a sincere brother-in-Christ and now his voyage has drawn up to the heavenly docking port to allow him to step into the presence of our Lord.
I’m learning that every voyage is different and each has some of the same stops they must make. For J, he is blessed to be receiving– wonderful respite care and to be surrounded by loving family.
If you’ve ever been on a cruise as it comes into port on its last day there is the routine hustle and bustle of passengers preparing their luggage before disembarking. (It’s usually left outside your cabin for the purser to retrieve and get to its destination ahead of you). There is the leaving a gratuity for those who have brought you along and a time to say goodbye to friends you made on the trip.
For J, there is no baggage from this world that needs to be off-loaded for the next. All J’s baggage was left at the cross years ago. As far as gratuities, J has had the ability to be with his caregivers now for a time. To hear them speak of him, he was always a gentleman and at times good for a laugh. When the nurses tell you that the patient, in this case J, has been a pleasure to help, that is one way to know his gratuities have been rendered. By being himself and showing care and respect for others when he likely felt as poorly as he as ever felt, is a sign of great character. Sadly, some at the end of their voyage fail to pay any gratuity but leave only a sense of relief that they are gone. May I never be one of those but allow me to take a lesson from J and be a man of character when I have no self-will to do so.
Saying goodbye to friends you’ve met on the voyage, that is the tough one. For those friends you know who are headed to the same final destination, the goodbyes are not forever but are more of “I’ll see you soon.” May I encourage all those I meet on my voyage to be sure to book their passage to our heavenly destination. I certainly do not want any permanent good-byes to friends, knowing I will never see them again. I cannot make their decisions for them, certainly, but I can strive to not be a roadblock to their coming to faith. Someone once said that a saved person leading another to Christ is like one blind beggar showing other blind beggars where to find food. A great analogy and I am thankful that Christ restored sight to the blind!
So here we are, the clock on the wall has meticulously ticked off every second of each hour and soon daylight will dawn in the East. For now, my vigil will be ended and J’s lovely daughter with whom the vigil has been shared will begrudgingly turn her duties over to another, at least for a short time. We pray for J to pass peacefully and soon, asking for God’s will in every detail.
It has been a good stop for the Genesis two-seven and I trust I will put its lessons to good use, now and in the days to come. I hope to be with J when he disembarks but if I am not, we have left nothing unsaid between us and we will cherish the moment when we meet again.