Longing for Home

    Have you ever stood in awe of something? Ever had those moments where your heart is struck with wonder and joy and for the briefest of moments you feel as if you are about to finally grasp some great and profound truth only to have it fade to the edges of your mind, where you have to struggle and wrestle to bring it forth long enough to really ponder what it even was?

    Moments when you stand by a beautiful mountain lake, listening to the wind through the trees and gazing in awe at the beauty of it all and for a second, you have a feeling, that you cannot quite put words to, it is both perfect, and peace all wrapped up in joy, and in an instant the fullness of it has passed.

   Or perhaps you are gathered about the table, with the ones you love most, and you look upon their faces as they talk and laugh and for a second that feeling rushes in, of a perfect love, and a peace you cannot describe and a sense of rightness, of knowing that this, this right here, this fleeting second is how's it's all supposed to be. And as fast as you grasped hold it is gone again, leaving you with such a longing that it near takes your breath away.

  I call those moments glimpses of heaven, and the aftermath of them is longing for home.. Those moments when through the dark mirror of sin and  brokenness we for a second glimpse so briefly and so imperfectly the real beauty, the real love and peace and perfection that God intended for mankind, before we turned it all into one big hot mess.

 We all have memories of home, memories of the place where we perhaps felt most safe and at peace, memories of childhood where we ran through grassy meadows and we laughed and we had not a care in the world. They differ with everyone. The nostalgic longing for home may be for a place, it may or may not be the place of your childhood, it may be a person or a time, but we all long for it. We all want to go home. The trouble is the feelings are hard to put words to, and the place, that home we are searching for is often not even understood fully by us, even though we are the ones longing for it. And when we try and go back to that physical place, or that time where we believe home was at we find something missing.

 "......it is when he comes home that he recognizes most poignantly that he is, at a deep level of his being, homeless, and whatever it is that is missing, he will spend the rest of his days longing for it and seeking to find it."Frederick Buechner

  For me, those perfect moments, or perfect seconds, because often they do not last very long, are moments where I see a tiny sample, an imperfect sample, like a child's drawing of Disney World would not come close to equaling the reality of Disney World, of the wonder that God has in store for those who believe. For a brief second I catch a glimpse of home, my true home. Those glimpses make me yearn, with a deep and even painful yearning for the reality of that place, for the eternity of that place.

  Just as the moments of wonder and awe, the moments of love and peace create in me a yearning for home, so do the moments of despair. In the dark times the mirror is black, and I see no reflection of home, no sign of how things were meant to be, I see only how they are. I see the brokenness, the grief and despair, the death and destruction and bitter disappointment. When earthly hope is crushed it leaves only that yearning, a desperate yearning for home. This yearning, the one that comes in the dark times is a heavier yearning. A pressed down feeling, where you can only raise your eyes to the heavens and whisper "come Lord Jesus", where your eyes, for the moment lose the ability to see any beauty in the ugliness around you, you see instead only the brokenness of it all and in that desperate brokenness you just long so heavily for home.

 The older I get the more I yearn for home, and the more I fully understand that home is where Jesus is. The glimpses of light and grace I see in the earthly home I now live in, and in the faces of the ones I love on those brief moments when all is well, and in the beauty of the flowers, the mountains and the bright blue sky are only poor reflections of what He intended when he spoke it all into being and are only poor and dim glimpses of what He has in store for me on that day when I at last get to go home. 

  Frederick Buechner describes a moment when he and his family were at SeaWorld and where they experience one of those moments, one of those glimpses of heaven that brought tears to his eyes, and to the eyes of his family who were with him. He writes:

 "We shed tears because we had caught a glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom and it had almost broken our hearts. For a few moments we had seen Eden and been part of the great dance that goes on at the heart of creation. We shed tears because we were given a glimpse of the way life was created to be and is not. We had seen why it was the "the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy" when the world was first made, as the book of Job describes it and of what it was that made Paul write, even when he was in prison and on his way to execution, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice." We had had a glimpse of part at least of what Jesus meant when He said "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh".

 The world is full of darkness, but what I think we caught sight of .............was that at the heart of darkness-----whoever would have believed it?---there is a joy unimaginable. The world does bad things to us all, and we do bad things to the world and to each other and maybe most of all to ourselves, but in that dazzle of bright water as the glittering whales hurled themselves into the sun, I believe what we saw was that joy is what we belong to Joy is home, and I believe the tears that came to our eyes were more than anything else homesick tears. God created us in joy and created us for joy, and in the long run not all the darkness there is in the world or in ourselves can separate us finally from that joy, because whatever else it means to say that God created us in His image, I think it means that even when we cannot believe in Him, even when we feel most spiritually bankrupt and deserted by Him, His mark is deep within us. We have God's joy in our blood" Frederick Buechner's  Secrets in the Dark “The Great Dance,”

 

 This morning as I write these words my heart longs for home. Home is where Jesus is, and were I only able to sit on the outskirts of heaven and view Him from a distance, were that all that was promised and no more could be hoped for, that would be enough and I would be content. I want to see Him, I want to fellowship with Him, I want to depend entirely and completely on Him, I want to run my race well for Him, I want to trust Him more fully, love Him more truly and place all my hope and expectations upon Him and Him alone. Home is where Jesus is. I try, sometimes with desperation, to create that home here on earth, or at least a child's drawing of it. I fail constantly in that attempt and I am so very often broken and discouraged when it all goes wrong.

  Jesus is "my hope and stay" and everything else I hope in, everything else that my expectations are placed upon, falls short, disappoints and ultimately leaves me empty and yearning for that which I cannot quite put words to......longing for home.....glimpses of heaven.

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You



Longing for Home

The longer I walk with Christ, the more I long to be with Him. This has not always been the case, in times past the promise of heaven was no more than the knowledge that when I die, I would go to there, but I did not long for it. I longed for Christ, longed for Him to save me from one trouble or another, longed for Him to grant me this job or that one, longed for Him to provide me with a house or a car, but looking back on those times (and I am not saying it is wrong to pray for such things) I really was not longing for Him, only His rescue, His provision, His blessing.

Now I long to see Him. To bask in His presence.To sit at His feet.

I long for heaven. These is so much beauty in this world, all of creation cries out glory to the Lord, and when I look on a beautiful scene, or an amazing creature, or when I see an act of kindness from one person to another. When fellowship with family and friends is just perfect and everyone is laughing and enjoying each other’s company.......during moments like these I think about what His word says.........

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."

And I think WOW! Better than this right here Lord? This is GOOD!........but He says this is nothing, He says that I cannot even imagine how wonderful it is going to be.......WOW!

Better than this!


Better than this!


Better than this!


Better than this!

Better than this!

And that is just looking at a handful of beautiful places in the world, think of all the most beautiful wonderful places on this great planet Earth…..and then consider His word….. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man” you cannot even imagine what He has prepared for those who love Him and are called by His name!

That makes my heart sing! That excites me, that fills me with hope!……and on top of everything......... He will be the light of that place…..” And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light

And then I begin to consider all the wonderful creatures God has made. He gave me a love for animals, since I was a tiny child I was always drawn to any animal I saw. Still am at 53 years of age. I love animals. I marvel at them. When He makes all things new, His word tells me this; “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” And I think WOW! I am going to be able to see all the animals and spend time with all the animals………..but in reality it will be more! I can imagine spending time with all His creatures in a beautiful place where He is the light……He says it’s going to be MORE than I can imagine, He says my eye has not seen anything like it, my ears have heard nothing like it, the thought of it has never entered my heart.


And I say WOW again!

I love many different types of music, and I believe that music touches the soul. Beautiful music calms the soul, brings peace to the heart. I can think of several pieces of classical music that are simply amazing, The place that He has prepared is going to have music! Music like we have never heard before. "nor ear heard"  It will make Schubert’s - Symphony No. 9 in C major seem dull and lifeless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87QwOIPQPr0

Franz Schubert - Symphony No. 9 in C major

And last, but my no means least, I think of relationships. How often have you banged your head against a wall trying to understand someone you love, or trying to get them to understand you? And doesn’t everyone treasure the really special moments, the ones where everything clicks just right, everyone is happy, there is laughter and closeness and you just wish you could stop time in its tracks and stay there forever. Those moments don’t come that often, there are far more of the ones where you are longing for something more, wishing to understand or be understood, longing to communicate on a higher level.

Relationships are going to be perfect there, we will walk with God and with each other, no sorrow, no tears, no ranting and raving and angry faces. It will be such a perfect time of fellowship that I cannot even imagine how good it will be.

And people we love who have crossed over will be there. We will have all the time we want to visit with them, to walk with them, to delight in their company, and I pray that all those I love will be there, to be able to simply fellowship in perfect accord with family and friends all the time is an awesome thought!

And He will be there, fellowshipping with us, and the relationship enjoyed with Him will be the greatest relationship of all, for we will see Him face to face. I cannot wait for that, I yearn for that.

I Can Only Imagine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb_vRkDBUB4

To close I want to reassure everyone that in my yearning to be with Him, I am by no means suicidal, nor am I gazing at the heavens and therefore serving no earthly good. I intend to remain and press on until such time as He is ready to call me home. I will fight the good fight, I will finish the race, I pray by His grace to finish it well!

But I am ready to go…….

Even so, come Lord Jesus




In His Presence All is Well

A young woman awakens, she is lying in a field of lush grass, a beautiful blue sky above her, she feels no discomfort. She does not know who she is, nor where she is, nor where she came from, but she is unafraid. She stands and looks around. She knows that she is gazing upon the most beautiful scene she has ever seen, although she still has no memory of who she is, or of what scenes she has gazed upon in her life.

 The field is a vivid green, full of flowers of all shapes and colors, their scent fills the air with fragrance, there is an abundance of life around her, trees filled with singing birds, the field filled with animals, some lazing about, some frolicking in the grass. Deer, antelope, zebra, even elephants, along with lions, and leopards and wolves. All are at peace here, as if they are accustomed to living together and causing no harm to one another. There are hundreds of butterfly's wisping about the various flowers. It is a glorious place! Her heart is filled with elation and joy!

 Across the field she sees a black and white shape, low to the ground and running fast, it is a dog, in a moment a name comes into her mind, she knows this dog, it is Charlie, he is her dog, although still, she has no idea who she is. Charlie leaps into her arms, as he has a hundred times in the past, and as he was created to do, he lies limp in her arms as she hugs him. She has held him and hugged him like this a great many times, but he knows that this time is different. She sheds no tears, she does not moan or weep, there is no anguish of soul, as there often was in the past. This is why he must lay still in her arms, it is his purpose to comfort her, to simply be there for her. He is delighted when he hears not weeping as she holds him, but laughter, a sweet melody of laughter, like beautiful bells ringing gently in the breeze.

 Something alerts the dog, and the animals, she notices, and allows the dog to drop gently to the ground. All of them are moving towards a sound, it is the sound of singing. A beautiful male voice singing, but she cannot understand the words, she moves along with the animals towards the sound.

 A man is approaching, a strong and rugged man, he is surrounded by a multitude of animals and birds, as she approaches closer, puzzled by this, for there is something within her that seems to say she knows this man. She is at last close enough to see him, to make eye contact with him, and at that very moment when her eyes meet his..........she knows......she remembers her name.....she remembers her life......and in a split second she knows the answers to so very many questions she has asked across the years. She knows without question how much her family and friends loves her, she sees all the people across the years, who have been part of her life, she understands now the why of things that may have caused her pain, and she forgives each one, for she now knows fully the love that many of these people had for her. She sees with clarity the mistakes that were made, she knows the why of the hurts she has suffered..........she knows all this and understands completely.

 She drops to her knees at the feet of this man, her face to the ground for she cannot bear to look upon him......for at the same moment that she knew her own name, she also knew His.....He is the Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He is her Lord, how often she failed him she thinks to herself, how can she look upon Him, how can she bear Him to look upon her. All of this takes place in an instant, she still face down on the ground, gazing at His nail scarred feet, timidly she raises her face towards Him, as tears begin to fall down her cheek.

 His rugged hand, His nail scarred hand, gently reaches down and with the thumb he wipes the tears from her cheek,and He says "welcome home my child" and in that instant, the sorrow is gone, her soul, her very being is filled with a radiate love. She is home! All is well! Peace, and hope and love and joy flood her soul! He lifts her to her feet and she is overwhelmed by the joy, once again she hears the music and the song that heralded this man's approaching, and now, now she can understand the words! She begins to sing, and she dances, her feet lite as air, she whirls and spins and sings, all for Him.....and as He watches her joyful dance, He laughs, a deep laugh, from the heart, He is not laughing at her, He is laughing in the joy of watching her. He is thrilled and pleased by her joyful dance.

 Her dance concludes and she stands before Him, she feels full of life, full of joy, full of energy, she is at peace......He takes her hand and smiles at her and says,  "Melanie, I have prepared a place for you.....come and see." They walk off into the light, the black and white dog following at her heels.

 Dance with the angels Melanie, lift your voice in song to the King, the dark night of the soul has passed, you now stand in His Light. All is well. Give Charlie dog a hug from me. I will see you again one day. We will dance together.

 

4/28/88-3/12/13



  This was originally written on March 13th, 2013 and is a tribute to my daughter in law, Melanie A Griego, who passed from this life into His arms on March 12th, 2013.