Wednesday, April 27, 2011

longing


My oldest son has been on vacation only seven days, but how my arms ache for him!  The sweet moment when I hold him again, when the hole that is here when he is not is finally filled.... Oh, hurry up, moment!  Come quickly, son!  Your bed awaits, soft blanket clean, buddies arranged just so, ready to give you the warm welcoming sleep that you can only find at home! 

It is so strange how even at night, the stillness is somehow incomplete without one child here.  Some people are just part of "home."

That aching, I feel it sometimes for my family in Michigan.  It has been so very long since my own parents were part of my every day.  12 years.  And yet they are still "home" to me.  Perhaps they feel that way about their own parents, who were "home" to them, even though they have been gone for years.

Our paths gradually lead us away from each other, sometimes to converge again, but who knows for how long? New people come, families grow, and our hearts are filled with new loves.  Yet those holes do not go away.  Time keeps moving, and even more holes are made.  There are empty spaces where someone should be, holes where someone once was, and longing.  We remember, and we ache. 

I wish to posses those I love, so I can keep them with me, and manufacture some sort of home that would stay intact.  But I can't, and it wouldn't.

Even if death were not constantly lurking, my own sin would cause separation soon enough.  I know this because I experience it daily.  The sin, the selfishness in my own heart, separates me from even those in my home;  sin would destroy everything if it were allowed.  I am no makers of homes or fillers of holes.  Even my longings for my loved ones are stained with selfish sin, and I deserve to have them all denied.

And yet... grace and mercy.  My son has come home, and he sleeps in his bed. The quiet has been made whole, and I am content, for a moment.

And there is even more grace given to me on this peaceful evening.  Although I didn't even know enough to long for my God, Jesus came to me, He suffered for me, died for me.  He atoned for my sins and rose from the dead, and lives to interceed for me.  This heart that sin so wants to destroy, He has united with Himself, and has given me His Word that He will keep it safe in His grace.  Because of that grace, I am His dear child.

This joy I feel, now that my son has returned to me; could it be a faint reflection of our Father's joy when His children return to Him?  Could it be... that our Heavenly Father aches for His children as I ache for my children when they are not with me?  Perhaps He also looks forward to the day when each of us are finally safe in His arms, when the valley of affliction is a faint memory, when we are Home for good, and all is peace and safety.


"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
Psalm 116:15

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