Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 22, 2005
We simply will be with Christ
Pooh Bear and Christopher Robin's parting sparks a spiritual realization
My Glass is Half Full
By MARK PICKUP
My three-year-old grandson and I were watching Disney's children's movie Pooh's Grand Adventure (1997). It starts on the last day of summer with Christopher Robin trying to break the news to Winnie the Pooh that he must go away to boarding school:
We wouldn't be
CR: Pooh Bear, what if, someday, there came a tomorrow when we were apart?
In this touching exchange, Winnie the Pooh is asked to consider the possibility of their being separated. It's unthinkable to Pooh and Christopher Robin cannot muster the courage to say he is leaving for boarding school. But the unthinkable happens: the next morning Pooh discovers that Christopher Robin really is "somewhere else." And so a brokenhearted Pooh Bear embarks upon his misguided but grand adventure to find his best friend.
The movie captured the attention of one little boy and his grandfather.
It is terrible to think about being separated from those we love. Yet, it is a heartbreaking prospect we all shall face at some time or another. The sadness of separation will surely visit you and me. It may be the result of events or time or distance or death. But eventually, we will all feel an inconsolable ache of being separated from the human relationships that matter most to us.
To be widowed or orphaned is a terrible thing. To be suddenly left alone in the midst of life's journey can cause such sorrow that the griever may be convinced their heart is irreparably damaged and about to break in two. They wake each morning to the dreadful reality that he or she really is gone. The gaping hole left by the loss of a loved-one seems too great to bear and the griever wails at the thought that "we" has become "me."
The griever's heart cries out: "I am lost without you! I am not strong enough or brave enough to endure this pain!" Pooh Bear was right: We ceased to be!
Pooh's Grand Adventure spoke to me of things I must say to my grandson but, like Christopher Robin, I am reluctant to prepare us both for the day we will be apart. He and I are "we."
Death is not final
For those of us who live by faith, our consolation in the agony of separation is Jesus Christ. The separation of loved-ones through death is not final. Jesus said, "Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matthew 5:3). And so we shall be comforted. St. Luke's account of the Beatitudes (Luke 6:20-22) recalls Jesus' words this way: "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh." Present pain carries a future promise and blessing.
The Church teaches that the Beatitudes respond to a natural desire for happiness and that desire is of a divine origin. It comes from God and is placed deep within the human heart "in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1718).
After all, to seek God is to seek real happiness and enter heaven's joy.
Present human understanding of love and relationships will seem like poor reflections of the genuine articles when we stand face to face with the Creator of both. We will realize that we were always fully known, even in the loneliest of earthly sorrows.
Standing face to face before God, he will personally wipe away every tear we cried here. God's children will be with him (John 1:12).
The Bible says I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away."
The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Then he said, "Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true" (Revelation 21:3-5). We must teach our children and grandchildren of this glorious hope that awaits those who trust in Christ. We will be together again with Jesus in paradise. The promise is "trustworthy and true."
Then, the only response possible will be joyous laughter. We simply will be, Pooh bear. We simply will be, together with Christ.
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