Someone close to my parents once told me that I have deep roots. I was twenty-three years old or so, and he asked me where I saw myself in ten years. Easy answer- a wife and a mother. I was close to my mom (still am), and had a loving, connected home growing up, so when I dreamed of the future I had home in mind. My vision of home has developed over the years, especially now that I am a wife and mother, and what strikes me is how even in the drafting, creating, and living as a homemaker, I am still yearning for home. I live between the tension of contentment and wanting, because I don’t see my home as a destination, but as a shadow of my true home.
I see home as a people, not merely a place. I envision being rooted in a place so that home will be as it should-a people, joined together, sharing their lives with all the mess and beauty that they bring. Home is family. Home is friends. Home is walking along the street and greeting the neighbors, not in some social politeness sort of way, but in a real “How is it going with that irrigation issue? Need any help with the clean up?” sort of way. Home is serving without an agenda and without waiting to be served in return. Home is welcoming guests, perhaps for a short stay, or maybe longer. Home is around the table, side by side, on porch steps, sofas, and kitchen stools. Home is being inconvenienced. Home is a forgiving place. It is where feet are washed, which Jesus did show us and told us to go and do likewise. Home is self-sacrificing. It is a generous place. It is a disciplining place where children learn to obey and parents learn to patiently instruct. Home is early mornings, late nights, short talks, and long walks. Home is a temporary shadow of our eternal rest with God. Home can be many things, but it cannot be permanent. We are still travelers passing through, after all. What home can be though is a picture of what the people of God forever will be- a unified chorus of worshipers celebrating God and His Kingdom. Home says, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and means it.
I have deep roots, but they are not driven in soil. They go into the very imagination of God, to a home that He is preparing and has been since the foundation of this world. So, when I serve my family, welcome guests, and love my overall community in the name of Christ I am sharing a shadow of a truer home with them, which no eye has seen nor ear has heard. When I am awakened in the middle of the night by a fearful toddler with another bad dream, I can tuck him safely back into bed and assure him that all is well while God never sleeps. When I prepare yet another meal for hungry appetites I can be strengthened remembering Christ, and the bread that was broken and the wine that was poured to be shared again at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. When tensions rise and tempers flare, I can repent and believe there is forgiveness and that rest is found in worship. Hymns are sung. Scripture is read. Hearts are broken. Heaven rejoices. And creation groans for our redemption. Home is not here, but it is coming. We hope for our true home with patience. And we are not surprised when our earthly home is not as it should be. It was never intended to be home for us anyway.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:18-30).