Sunday, June 25, 2006

Home is Not Here

(It Never Was)

The last bag is packed, the last zipper shut. I lean back on my heels and look at the room I’m about to leave. What was it...three, four days ago that we got here? Maybe less. It seems like just yesterday. I stand to my feet, pull the heavy backpack onto my shoulder and inch backwards towards the door. Maybe next time I should bring a piece of furniture, something to make the room look more...

“Time to leave!” a voice calls from downstairs. One fleeting glance is all I’m entitled to before I close the door behind me.

I shouldn’t be too worried. We’ll be back next week.

Six hours, and two cramped legs later, I open the door to my other room – my smaller, but certainly more personalized room. The backpack slides to the floor with a heavy thump. I won’t bother to unpack most of the essentials – five days can slip by so fast.

In case you’ve not guessed already, my family is moving. Again. I love moving: it’s an opportunity to clean out the closet, clean out the old life, make way for ‘all things new’ – and it’s exciting every time. What is not exciting is finding the house where God wants you to be, and then having God keep a restraining hand on your shoulder, so to speak, by not granting the immediate sale of your current house.

There is an agony associated with watching someone exit your house after a showing, wondering if you prayed hard enough for them to like it, wondering if you prayed with the right words, asked God for the right things, asked with the right motives. When nothing happens week after week, it’s very hard to accept the fact that God sometimes says simply: “Wait.”
Be still and know that He is God, right?

What’s right is not always easy.

Someday, I know that we will be able to settle down in our new house. Someday my heart will not be in two places, or caught somewhere between. Someday my family will look back and say, “Praise the Lord for letting us sell that house. We thought it would never happen, but He is faithful.”

This desert place in our lives, this valley called “Waiting” has taught me a lesson I should have learned years ago: We are pilgrims, wanderers in a strange land. We have no true home but that which is in Heaven. We are visitors; we are sojourners. We are just passing through. Someday we will be in our true home, but for now, we do our duty and look forward to that day.

My earthly possessions may be in Maryland, my heart may be in Virginia, but my citizenship is in Heaven.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Hard Life

I bet you think you have a rough life; a bad job. I have news for you: nothing can compare to mine. You could run a contest from East to West, North to South, and you won’t find a position more psychologically damaging, nerve-wracking, disobliging than mine.

How would you like to do nothing more than sit silent all day, having nothing more to stare at than the peevish, scowling, exasperated faces of those people to whom you are slave? How would you like people to shake you violently on occasion, mutter curses in your face, throw insults left and right, criticize you because you work fast, but not fast enough? Worst of all, you’re never given the chance to explain yourself!

It’s rare that I make a mistake, but sometimes I accidentally forget and take a rest while I’m helping someone with their work. I never thought it would make them so angry! But I tell you it’s not my fault! They expect me to do everything; so when do I get a break?

Finally, when the weight of everything I hold in my mind combines with the insults and scowls of those who use me to their advantage, I have to grumble a little. When I sigh and groan, people rush concernedly to me, and try to figure out what’s wrong.

For a moment, I feel special – but it doesn’t last for long. That’s when they shriek in outrage, “You STUPID COMPUTER! You lost all of my files! I can’t stand computers – they’re nothing but trouble.”

But, my friends, I know that you don’t agree with them.

You’re using me right now! Please, be kind. (And, remember to keep your mouth closed when you sit in front of me).

Author’s P.S. I’d just finished writing this story, and went to save it when the screen blanked and Microsoft Word shut down on me!