My wife is a nester. She loves taking the bones of a house and turning them into a home. Whether it’s through painting, picking out the perfect piece of old furniture, finding a rug, or it’s a rip-out-the-floor true renovation, I think she enjoys the process as much as the result. Sometimes I’ll come home and the kids will say, “Dad, you’re not gonna like what mom did!” I know that means our bedroom and/or living room has been rearranged to make it feel more…home.
I love her for it, though I don’t always show it by my reaction when enlisted for the manual labor. I love that she wants to make our house a home, to make it our home.
When we finally got our own place here in Oklahoma, it was so cool to walk in each day and see her busy unboxing, arranging, and rearranging things.
It was the happiest I’d seen her in a long time.
We’ve been here pretty much a year now, although the permanent move wasn’t until April, and we didn’t move into our own place until October 1. In Jeremiah 29: 5-7, God told the exiles in Babylon: “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” We’ve tried to do that (renting, not building…no gardening yet, and def no spouses for the kids, but you get the idea).
We’ve been trying to settle into life here, to become a part of this place. Just like those exiles, we’re attempting to put down roots here, where we know He’s called us. Yet, no doubt also just like those exiles, in the back of our hearts and minds there is an unending, never fading, ever increasing longing for…home.
Home, such a small yet powerful word. As a noun, it refers to “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.”
It’s also be used as a verb, meaning “move or be aimed toward (a target or destination) with great accuracy.” Dang. That one hits…home.
We feel a continual pull towards home, east, NC. It’s always there. And it’s not about missing the house we lived in and remodeled, nor even about the particular town we lived in. It’s not about places at all.
This pull is about the people that made NC home for us, our family and our friends. It’s about the relationships we built there, the lives that were forged. It’s hard to leave that behind, even when you know God is doing “a new thing.”
In the end, I know even if we were to move back “home”, there would exist, underneath all the joy that move would encompass, an even deeper pull to home. A pull that makes us realize, no matter where we work or lay our heads on this mortal coil, home is not here. Well, not yet, anyway. Deep within all of our hearts is that longing for home that cannot be satisfied by anything in this world.
C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity said it better than I ever could:
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
The longing for home that we feel towards NC is an indicator of the deeper and greater longing we have to be in that place where all is made right, where sorrow and suffering cease, where joy is unending, and where peace abounds. It’s a longing to be with Jesus, the One who gave it all so we might have life in Him. That’s the home I look forward to, the longing that all other longings point towards. Until that day, we are to live here, now, wherever that may be, seeking the peace of the city we call home…temporarily…in anticipation of the one that will never end.
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:14