It’s not really our home, you know.
I said the words jokingly—actually, only half jokingly—to a guest in our house the other day.
The visitor was visibly surprised. We’ve lived in the house for a decade and a half, filling the walls with artwork we’ve chosen to fit our taste, and the bookcases with volumes to feed our souls.
The walls still seem to echo with the voices of our grandchildren and college students around the table. If I listen carefully, I can almost hear the Lovely Lady’s mother’s musical laugh, her idiosyncrasies and stories far outlasting her years on this earth.
The Doxology still rings in the air, sung by voices young and old scattered around the little dining room. And, before the strains of that beautiful old hymn of praise die down, one may be able to make out the joyful carols sung so many times over the years inside these thick brick walls.
Many whom we love have crossed the threshold of this wonderful old house while we’ve resided here, a better home than I ever imagined it would be. The welcome here was always warm, the food delicious, the fellowship all one could ask for.
That was then.
Home is the place where even the host feels welcome, the retreat where the world is left behind at the door, even if only for a little while.
And God said to Paul and his Lovely Lady, leave behind this beautiful and welcoming home, along with the music store, your vocation and place of ministry for the last thirty years, and go to a place I will show you. But, not yet.
But, not yet.
Am I comparing my circumstances to Abraham’s? Really? I tell you, there have been times over the last few months when I would have told you he had it easy compared to me.
All Abraham had to do was to obey and walk. God showed him the rest. Under the great oak tree at Shechem, God waved an arm around and declared that everything he saw was his. Home.
I hope there is little need for me to reassure the reader I have no illusions about my importance in the grand scheme. I’m well aware of the part Father Abraham had yet to play in the history of mankind.
I understand the great faith it took for Abram to leave his family and country and travel, not knowing where he would end up. I only make the comparison because this Hero of faith had merely to take one step after another until the Lord told him to stop.
A pilgrim no more, he would be home. Home.
But, I’m sure many can identify with this unsettled feeling I have deep down when I look around me in this old house. It’s not my home anymore. Oh, my name (and the Lovely Lady’s) is on the title, but my home is somewhere else.
Or, it would be if I could leave here. There are still a number of things that have to happen before I walk out the door for the last time.
So, I keep walking back in every evening. I keep sleeping in (what will be) someone else’s bedroom. I work in an office that will never truly be mine again.
I’ve got one foot firmly planted in the present, and the other poised to take the next step—to a different place entirely.
It should be time to close one chapter and move to the next. Only, I keep reading the last paragraph again and again.
I don’t write these words to get sympathy. Not at all. I do wonder though, if anyone else can identify with how I’m feeling.
This unsettled feeling—this impatience and restlessness—I wonder, did our Savior ever feel it?
Earth was never His home. He left His home to live here temporarily, before returning to His rightful home. (Philippians 2:6-8)
He wasn’t welcome, didn’t get settled in. He came to His people and they didn’t accept Him. (John 1:11)
He didn’t even have a place he wanted to call His own. The birds and animals had homes, but the Son of Man didn’t even have a place to lay His head. (Matthew 8:20)
He didn’t settle in. He never got comfortable. He was Creator of all that is and there was no place here for Him to call home.
The task for which He came still lay ahead of Him. And, after that—home.
I’m realizing something, these days as I miss the home that was and look forward to the home that will be. I’m realizing I’ll never really be settled-in there either. It may be the place I reside for the rest of my life—or not. Regardless, it won’t really be home, either.
I may even wonder, as I do now, why I have to wait—why I have to keep one foot in the present and have the other ready to take that step into eternity.
For right now, I’d settle for simply taking the next step.
Just one will do.
For a start.
Leaving home—to go home.
And then it happens all at once and unexpectedly. That is how things happen, I suppose. You pack your bags and find yourself walking yourself home.
(Shannon L Alder ~ American author)
Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
(Hebrews 11:10 ~ NLT ~ Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. All rights reserved.)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2017. All Rights Reserved.