The Hunger for Home

C.S. Lewis was right in saying that “the door of which we have been knocking on all our lives will open at last,” and of course the door he refers to is the Great Door of that far off yet intimately close country, which we all long for and experience glimpses of from time to time and yet have our doubts about it too, that country which is called the Kingdom of God. It is that country which Jesus inaugurated in those four books in the New Testament, a country that is not of this world but is certainly for this world, a country which we might as well call a kingdom, although His Kingdom looks a hell of a lot different than our kingdoms, and is in fact the upside down version of our world, of which we can say it is actually our world turned right side up. This kingdom, or country or land or whichever you prefer, is the home we all long for, because all of us are exiles whether we know it or not, whether we want to be or not. And yet the irony in it all is that while we search for home, home is searching for us. And we begin to experience our longings for home be quenched the moment we realize that all of our searching often leads us further into exile, for it is always us who wish to have things our way and because of His selflessness and our stubbornness God often lets us have our way. We are not home; all of us can agree to that. But we must not say that our home is nowhere to be found, heard, seen, felt, or believed on this side of eternity. To do so would be to collude with platonism and pessimism and many of the other “isms” that pass as truth these days, and most of all it would be to deny and reject Jesus’ mysterious, beautiful, and life-altering claim that the Kingdom of God is among us. Perhaps our groanings arise from those moments of grace in which the Kingdom bursts into our present; afterall, is that not what the Kingdom is, the future reality of the world restored breaking into our present, shabby old world? Like yeast in dough, the Kingdom is at work among us, and I believe our longings are signposts of the age to come. Whatever we do, we must not abandon our hunger for home; we must not distract ourselves to avoid the void within us. We must not kill the desires, we must not let go of the dreams. As John Eldredge says, “to lose heart is to lose everything.”

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