June was insane. We moved out of our house and into a trailer, and we’re both still working our normal jobs. Thankfully, we had several friends help us move and let us store stuff at their homes. We had been in that house for about 10 years, and it is incredible the amount of junk you can accumulate without realizing it. We had to move plenty of stuff that we hadn’t used in 3 years to get to the stuff we hadn’t used in 7. Every time I got back after moving what I thought was the last vanload somewhere, I was able to quickly fill up the van again. Moving is awful.
But then suddenly, we were done. We’ve had the trailer parked at 5 different homes / cottages / campgrounds, and now we’re settled in nicely at Dutch Treat Campground. We’ve spent a lot of time at the pool and the park, but we still haven’t broken in the air hockey table in the game room, and we’re still awaiting the first time the “honey wagon” comes around to flush our drainage system.
We’ve gotten to spend time with a lot of people at these different places, and it has truly been a blessing just to be with our friends and family before we won’t get to see them for an extended period of time. Most of what we’ve shared here in the past has been hopeful and forward-looking, but we’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit a sadness that comes with leaving the familiar – especially familiar relationships – behind for a time. Our friends and family will continue to grow and change – and we won’t be around for it. At least not in person. It will be weird.
Now that we’re less than 3 weeks away from flying out, things are changing in ways that we didn’t necessarily anticipate. Generally speaking, when our ideas of the future become reality, they often have a different flavor to them that isn’t quite the same as that original idea.
We now have renters in our house, and a few people, including them, have asked something like, “Is it weird to see somebody else’s stuff in your house?” And maybe surprisingly, my impression was no, it’s not really that weird.
What was exceptionally weird, though, was this. The morning we got all of our stuff out and pulled the trailer out onto life on the road, I went back through the house for one last walkthrough. It was eerie. Seeing a home that not only used to house our things, but whose very purpose was to house things… to see that as completely empty was a twilight zone type of experience. I had seen the piles of stuff dwindling over time, but to see it with absolutely nothing in it was extremely unsettling.
It got me thinking about what “home” actually is to me. Should it be a physical location, or can it be something that goes with me wherever I am? Psalm 27:4 came to mind:
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
I’d rather dwell in the house of the Lord than be tied to any particular physical entity, right?! So our home in Christ becomes something that we take with us wherever we go, wherever we rise or lay our head. If we make our home in Christ, it stops being a physical space that we need to get back to, and becomes a system of support that surrounds us wherever we are.
And as much as I love my house, it was built for a particular purpose: to house someone’s stuff. It doesn’t necessarily have to be my stuff, but it simply doesn’t fulfill its purpose when it’s empty… it becomes a weird unsettling version of what it was meant to be.
In the same way, our lives without Christ look weird. Our purpose is to enter into relationship with him. We were meant to seek him and grow to know him more every day. When we deny that, things get weird, and eventually, pretty unsettling. A human life completely devoid of the “stuff” of Christ is like a house with no belongings in it. I mean, I guess it’s still there, but that’s all. It’s just… there. It’s not serving any meaningful purpose. Its very state of existence points out the fact that it was meant for something greater!
Furthermore, this world without Christ looks weird. When we listen to “the news,” we get this distorted view of reality that has little to do the redemptive theme that has been running through history for millennia. We focus on disasters and conflicts and death counts, but we rarely hear about the amazing things God is doing to redeem his creation. When’s the last time the nightly news headlined a school in Ethiopia that just graduated 18 students, or the small village in Kyrgyzstan that just heard the good news of the gospel for the first time, or a small homeless population in a small town given job training and housing assistance, or the stories of the people in your life who you’ve seen God work for in amazing, unbelievable, miraculous ways? These things get almost completely overlooked, but they have a far bigger impact on eternity than the destructive sensationalism we’re so eager to consume.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of evil in the world, but we should never allow it to make us lose sight of the overwhelming good that is happening! “The news” shows us this world without Christ, but we know better. We know there is more to the story. Like the man born blind in John 9, we are here in this place at this time so that the glory of God can be revealed in our stories. In verses 1-4, John says:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”
So when the darkness of this world makes us think that night has already come, we must realize what’s going on and what we are to do about it. We must work by the moonlight. For as those living with an eternal hope and light, promised to us from the very source of the universe, we know a new day is dawning, the brightness of which has never before been made known to man, and there is much to do to prepare.
The glory of the Father may have passed by Moses, and the apostles may have seen the glory of the human life of the Son, but you and I live in the age of the Holy Spirit, surrounding us in full glory just aching to be revealed. It’s not a matter of waiting around for God’s promises to be fulfilled in our homes, our lives, and our world. It’s a matter of looking right next to you where the fulfillment of those promises has been sitting for some time, and grabbing hold.
By the way, Jesus healed the man born blind. And if he hadn’t been born blind, we wouldn’t be learning from his story 2000 years later. Just imagine what your own blindness, or the darkness you see around you, could be 2000 years from now, if only you let God do his redeeming work through it.