Sunday, September 29, 2013

They say the places you dream about are the ones that are indelibly etched on your soul. I still dream occasionally about the house in the country where I grew up, even though I’ve lived where we are now for five years longer than I lived there.

Now, we suddenly face leaving this place. I wonder if I’ll dream about it later, because I feel a connection to and understanding of this place, as none other. And yet, as I’m often reminded and have been reminded again: however much I love it, this place is not home.

And still we can’t help but love, to be attached to places, and things, which in themselves are never really true treasures, but shadows of things to come.

Our hearts long, but can never be fully satisfied by anything on this earth. We can come close—the embrace of a loved one, a piece of music, an exquisite meal or dessert. An especially sweet conversation with a friend. Even time spent in the Word, in prayer and worship, is only a temporary respite from the gnawing ache inside. Why else would there be so many songs, across so many styles of music, that speak of Heaven?

Because only there is our true Home. By whatever name we call it—Paradise, the High Countries, the Great Beyond, the Bright Lands—the promise is the same, for something real and permanent, somewhere our hearts will finally find rest.

As C.S. Lewis put it, in The Great Divorce:

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) has not been lost: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in ‘the High Countries’. In that sense it will be true for those who have completed the journey (and for no others) to say that good is everything and Heaven everywhere. But we, at this end of the road, must not try to anticipate that retrospective vision. If we do, we are likely to embrace the false and disastrous converse and fancy that everything is good and everywhere is Heaven.

But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.

And maybe, just maybe, that's why we love earthly places so much. Not because they're home, but ... they remind us of Home.

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God....13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11, NKJV)

13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3 NKJV)


  1. Thank you, Shannon. I am a wayfarer just passing through ~ I am thankful for the presence of the Lord on the way and we fare in His blessing.
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House ~ Hebrews 11:13

  2. What a beautiful way of putting that, Kathleen! Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)


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