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.
22 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Miss”
Beautiful post, dear Marie. I hope you feel God’s arms, holding you close.
I do. 🙂
Marie, you have speed fingers! How did you do that with dirt all over them? Your ache is holy and beautiful. It’s something I think we have lost in our state of instant gratification. We need Him him so, in this awful mess. I love how you write with your heart wide open (and those first two paragraphs—sublime).
Well, I didn’t have to dig in the dirt. My hubby bought me some beautiful arrangements for the front stoop. I was just fussing with them. 🙂
We do indeed need Him so. The way forward seems so unclear these days. Who knows what will happen with this election? It’s not just the presidency, either.
May God give us wisdom.
Hi Marie– you have a beautiful writing voice! I love what you’ve written tonight, especially about longing for heaven when both the wider world and our smaller worlds can seem so messed up, terrifying, and just plain hard. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Courtney.
I am thankful that we have the guarantee of all this being set to rights one day. That hope shines brightly no matter how dark it gets.
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Beautiful. It’s so easy to weary of doing good. It’s so easy to forget that we should long to scrub the floors in heaven rather than wallow around down here in the palace of sin. Thank you for the reminder (and next time I’m in Spokane, we’re meeting for coffee! or tea or ice cream).
Yes, we will absolutely meet up!
“We should long to scrub the floors in Heaven rather than wallow around down here in the palace of sin.” Powerful. True.
What a beautiful prayer. I need to get serious about wanting the same. visiting from #9
Some days are better than others. I certainly don’t always have my focus where it should be. There is always grace.
IF I was a real writer, I would have written exactly what you did – because THAT is how I am feeling as well. Stunning. I love The Message. ((xo))
Ah, thank you, Susan. You are a “real writer!” Your voice matters.
I am glad that someone else out there feels these things, too. Someday all this sorrow will fade away and we will be enveloped in His embrace.
I am reminded of 1 Peter…we are sojourners in a foreign land dear friend. Home. It’s good to miss it. Good to remember that this isn’t it. Good to remember that Heaven will be one day for all of us who love the Lord.
In the #32 spot this week.
I love that word, “sojourner.” It is hard to be a traveler some days. The load gets heavy. Blessedly, God is always there to carry us when we can’t go another step.
Heaven isn’t the goal. In fact, I don’t think we spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven. The Bible is pretty clear (to me anyway) that we spend eternity on a new Earth, but only after the 1,000 year (or long but indeterminate time period) in the Messianic Era on the present Earth.
So many Christians think they’re just marking time on Earth until they die and “go to Heaven”. I feel sorry for them. We’re not here just to wait with our thumbs in our ears doing nothing and helping no one. We’re here to serve Him and other people.
In Judaism, there’s a concept called “Tikkun Olam” which more or less translates as “Repairing the World”. It’s what Jews do to prepare for the coming of Messiah. Messiah is the “big fixer,” the one who will completely transform our world and perfect it. However, our job during our lives, is to be “little Messiahs,” so to speak, doing good and performing His will on Earth, making the world just a tiny bit better.
If you want Heaven, you can create a little piece of it in your world right now. In fact, you probably are already doing so without realizing it. Give to charity, open a door for someone, offer someone a complement. In other words, love your neighbor like yourself.
We live in a broken world and if all we concentrate on is the brokenness, we’re going to be pretty unhappy. However, if we concentrate on fixing just a little bit of that brokenness, we focus less on how we feel and more on being good and faithful disciples of our Master.
I understand what you are saying, James. When I say “Heaven,” I mean “the earth restored to what God intended” and “seeing Him face to face.” I long for this. I know that we are to be obedient and bring light to this here and now. I simply ache for the way it is meant to be.
Oh friend, Yes! I yearn for that place I haven’t been either especially when I watch the news etc. The promises in that Galatians text are so good. I’ll cling to those words. I’m in the 68 spot this week.
The news…I can’t with the news. I have to take a break. I don’t want to be unaware, but it’s dragging me down. It’s a “turn your eyes upon Jesus” alone season for me.
You just never can go wrong with Ps84, right? I mean really – any of the psalms …but that one? That is near and dear to my heart! I am homesick too, my friend, and praying for more ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ in our world!
I’m loving the Psalms more and more these days, especially Psalm 119. I want to be soaked in His word!
This is beautiful and I love Psalm 84 in the Message. It’s such a great hope to hold onto to help us keep going when things are hard.