Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Bit of Longing

Three years and two days ago, Juli, Ashlyn, and I landed in Dublin, Ireland.  Our village of Raheeny has certainly become home for us, but in most places in the world in general, and Ireland in particular, if you have no long term ties to the place, you're a "blow-in", not a local.  We knew that would be the case when we arrived three years ago and we know that will be the story as long as we live here.  We're okay with being resident aliens.  It's not a new experience for us.  Juli and I met in England while working for a church over a decade ago.  We love the adventure living in a new land provides.  We don't mind being "outsiders".  We're used to all the usual questions - you just answer them and get on with it.

Our experience isn't new to the people of God.  From early on, God has always called his people to be longing, looking, searching for something more than the status quo.  Because of the resurrection of Christ we are living "between the times" - we are living in the overlap of two ages.  The Kingdom has both come and is still coming.  It leaves us all with a little bit of longing.  Reflecting on our three years in Ireland and on life in general I recently penned the following.

A Little Bit of Longing
Abraham longed for a country – a land that he could call his home.
He was looking for a city - a place with foundations from not to roam.
But in longing he was left; left to ramble on; ramble on and not to find.
From a distance he glimpsed the promise, but he met it only in his mind.

I’ve felt feelings of transcendence; longing for something beyond this time and place.
Because living in the here and now is never easy, it’s always easier to escape.
If home is where your heart is, you should be sure that your heart has a home.
If you’re disconnected from your feelings, your mind and body will always roam.

I’m certain that eternity has both a time and a place – both a time and a space.
It isn’t just forever, or never, nor is it simply a never ending race.
And though God has placed eternity deep within the home of our hearts,
Within our minds we fail to grasp it – left with nothing more than stops and starts.

And on this earth, this globe, this round ball, spinning round and round.
We’re not just travelling round in circles; we’re headed for higher ground.
A renewed city, a renewed country, renewed heavens, and a renewed earth –
From the shell of the old creation, a transformed creation will come to birth.

Though I hope for that bright future – new roots, new soil, and a new home.
I’m left in limbo at the moment, content to be here, yet longing still to roam. 
So living here and living now - living - and yet never quite belonging. 
This cross-cultured existence will always leave me with a little bit of longing.

 - Shay 

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