Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Monday, April 8, 2013

Packing up and Moving in

I'm dreading packing. You heard me, packing. For close family and friends the word packing has the drama of cereal when associated with my life, because after all it's me we're talking about. But seriously, I'm so tired of putting my stuff in a box, moving it around, and rearranging it in a new living space I could scream.

Thankfully I'm not going far, as opposed to other moves in the last couple of years which took hours, or days, of driving. This time I'm not uprooting my children, relearning a culture, and having to memorize directions to the nearest Walmart, all-over-again.

Nevertheless nothing reminds me, like boxing up my stuff, that this world isn't my home. It's a good reminder to face once in a while. It keeps me humble, dependent, and expectant. All good things on the whole.

The weariness that comes with thinking about the hassle of moving all of this stuff, again, isn't the only soft spot this move brushes up against. There's a tender spot that hesitates in the ongoing process of learning directions and customs and history and names, it whispers "you will never belong".

When you've yearned for community for as long as I have, when you've learned to lean close at the rumor of it's existence, when your heart's beat wildly at the sound of it's coming, only to have it snatched away before it's full grown, you start to protect a tender place in your heart. Just like you protect your grandmother's fragile china as it's loaded on a moving truck.

I'm excited about closing the half hour drive between home and church with this move and putting to rest what was, quite frankly, another painful experiment in biblical community. I'm excited, and, I find, hesitant. Hesitant because the last few months at church have moved me from friendly outsider to in-the-trenches member in this new body. And this coming move will only deepen an intimacy that's been growing. While that's a beautiful thing it also feels vulnerable. Do you know what I'm saying?

It's a strange place to be, believing wholeheartedly in the truth of God's promise and command of a living union for his followers, and yet having rarely seen the church actually live in that reality. Having born the consequences of that paradox quite personally I feel raw at times.

I want to jump in. Yet I hesitate. 

I've learned that when hope is broken another moving van waits on the other side, and I am so way over that. I'm tired of fit pitching and selling out to religion because the radical union Jesus offers is too hard. (I get it, I'm as stubborn, prideful, and selfish as the next person. Having to yield to others out of love for Jesus is humbling work. But I don't see any other way around it, do you?)

I'm bound and determined to pursue intimacy with Jesus' people, it's my birthright, it's a need, it's a command. But if you see me grit my teeth or hesitate, be patient, it may take me a moment to lift my eyes from the memory of burned bridges to the compelling eyes of Jesus urging me to trust. 

So, this month as I put my dishes back into a box, and sort through my things, it will be an act of trust. Trust that this world which never fully satisfies me will give way to a redeemed one, trust that God will establish a lasting unity with my heart and his people in this new place, trust that his faithfulness will never run out, and trust that when I disappoint others, because I will, that I will receive grace.

As my heart is stretched I hold to the truth that this world isn't my home, God's heart and his people are. I'm trusting that by faith he will make my heart rest, living out the hard work of unity, with his family, by his Spirit.

What does God use to remind you that this world isn't your home?

God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. Ephesians 2:19-22 ish, The Message

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