My hands are slightly sticky, covered in the leavings of new petunias. They spill over their dark plastic containers, trailing across the front steps. Purple, white, pink. Bits of periwinkle and a golden yellow flower – I don’t know its name – fight for space in the grand spring display.
Early evening sunlight makes its way through the closed drapes. A rectangle of washed-out orange settles on the carpet near my feet. The dogs are still and quiet in the recliner, watching the street outside the window. A fan pushes the hot, heavy air this way and that, ruffling the deep green leaves of a potted ivy. The sound of shovel piercing earth rises above the rumble of the washing machine. The top drawer of a shallow gray dresser turned living room table-catchall sits ajar.
Pensiveness settles on me like a blanket far too heavy for the weather. Would that I could trade it out for a light cotton sheet sprinkled with lavender water.
Kate says: miss.
It’s strange to miss a place you’ve never been.
Tonight I miss Heaven. Tonight I miss seeing my Lord’s precious, beautiful face. Tonight I soak in the words of the psalm, its poetry conjuring up faint images of the world to come, images just beyond sight:
What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I’ve always longed to live in a place like this,
Always dreamed of a room in your house,
where I could sing for joy to God-alive!
Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!
And how blessed all those in whom you live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!
O God of Jacob, open your ears—I’m praying!
Look at our shields, glistening in the sun,
our faces, shining with your gracious anointing.
One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
– Psalm 84 (MSG)
Tonight I am losing my patience in the waiting, in the missing, for the place I’ve never been and the God I cannot see. I am heartsick unto tears. Trump and Clinton and bathrooms and nastiness and ignorance and violence.
Lord God above, tomorrow there will be more. Needs, issues, conflict. My Father, my Savior – stamp these words upon my spirit:
…let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
– Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Etch them into my very being. Grace me with the grit to keep on.
But now, in this moment, just let me miss my home.
Let me miss Your embrace.