Tag Archives: longing

34: Homesick

34 homesick mf

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:4 NIV

My first experience of home sickness was when I went to stay for a couple of nights with a school friend. I was about six years old. I thought it would be fun, but the whole time I just wanted to go home. I wanted familiar things and people around me, so I cried and cried. On the second day my friend’s parents drove us to the seaside, to Weston Supermare, a famous British beach where the tide goes out for miles. I wept the whole way there, desperate for home and my own parents, looking back out of the rear windscreen towards where I thought they were. The strength of my feelings shocked and upset me, and my hosts were none too pleased either. I remember my friend’s mother got particularly narked, since she was determined we were to have fun no matter what. This soppy six-year-old crying her eyes out was scuppering her perfect plans.

When things are extra tough as they are at the moment, I long for home. I really want to not have to face the daily grind of lack and ill health, and to be able to come home to my heavenly father’s dwelling place. I long for that sense of peace and the idea of being fully known. I have had a taste here on earth by the grace of God, of what that relationship might begin to taste like, and I yearn for more.

But there is work to be done. And this is true for all of us, whether we are consciously in the Lord’s service or not. I don’t know how my writing or art might ever be used of the Lord, but I hope it will be, and because I am his servant I must carry on. But I do not continue without groaning, or feeling burdened. I daily feel heavy with the heartache of it all.

One of my dearest friends calls me her snail, and hopefully not just because I am slow. These days I find that home is being with God and so in a way, I can carry my home around with me wherever I go. This is a great comfort. I love being creative and I love prayer which is the mainstay of my life, and these things sustain me in my tiny life, but there are many times when I feel like a castaway who often looks out to sea with a profound yearning to journey home, or like that little me who looked back through the car window all the way to the beach.

Paul speaks this longing out in his beautiful way, saying that we feel naked without our true bodies. An amazing metaphor for the hunger to be really ourselves, knowing deep down that we are immortal beings whose souls need to fly home to their legitimate nesting place in the heart of God, as one day we shall.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile

32: Waiting

32 gandalf-1093539_1280 pixabay cc

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, 

and in his word I put my hope. 

I wait for the Lord 

more than watchmen wait for the morning, 

more than watchmen wait for the morning.” Psalm 130:5-6 NIV

 

More than anything, I think that waiting is something we are just not built to do. It seems all wrong. It hurts, it is tiring, demoralising and annoying. But also more than anything, it is what forms us into heavenly beings.

Oh we have to learn to wait. We have to train ourselves, we have to resign our impatient spirits to its boredom and aridity. British people are adept at waiting, or we used to be, with so many of our systems built around queuing. You can spot the British people in line at Disney World. We look smug amongst the other tourists, because this is the one thing we know how to do, especially if there is a cup of tea at the end of it.

But waiting for the Lord is different. It requires faith, not only that we are waiting for something worthwhile, but that we are not forgotten as we hang on. We don’t get a number, nor can we see how much longer there is to go. And as the Psalmist expresses here, we don’t just wait with our minds or our hearts or our bodies, but with our whole being. Other translations use the word “long” so that the nuance is about yearning for God. And waiting on him, waiting for answers is about desire, and learning to be patient. And like the watchmen on guard duty, we eagerly look for the first signs that the hard night will soon be over. We strain to see the night sky become just one iota lighter, so that we can look forward to dawn creeping over the horizon and relieving us of duty. This image always reminds me of various scenes in Tolkein’s the Lord of the Rings, when the dawn is watched for from the battlements either in trepidation of coming combat, or in hopes of a longed for rescue and the sound of cavalry thudding towards the siege with first light.

If we are people who pray, who are looking for answers, searching for the Lord and his truth, we are wait-ers. We wait actively, not just passively, on the lookout. But when the wait is long and dark, cold and hard, we struggle, we fuss, we moan, we wonder if the morning is ever coming. We wonder a lot whether we have been forgotten, whether we matter, whether our original request or question was even heard. Doubting happens in the dark and it is tough. Unlike the watchmen, we may not even know exactly what it is we are waiting for, and it may seem like something much less certain than sunrise. But God is waiting too. He is waiting for the right time, the right way and often, even for our endurance to give rise to perseverance and stronger faith. He is, perhaps, infuriatingly like Gandalf, who says, “A wizard is never late, he arrives exactly when he means to.”

 

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay