A friend who blogs at Properties of Light is doing a book giveaway. Check below for the particulars!
Well, I got this in the mail today: It’s the advance reader copy of Anything But Simple, scheduled to come out the end of July. To celebrate having made it this far, I am going to host my very first giveaway! Anything But Simple will join the Plainspoken series put out by Herald Press, and…
We mourn for it back.
Edenic paradise and perfection,
Lifted to our lips
Like a sparkling cup of wine:
(That we have never experienced)
Life, perfection and oneness with God.
But we are here.
Beyond Eden- abruptly deposited;
Bourne by our own sorrows and fears
To drink the cup we ourselves have poured:
The dregs of humanity:
(We cry as we drink and remember a sweeter nectar
That we have never tasted)
Life, the new reality and separation
Somewhere, we know, a newer, truer reality
Awaits our numbed senses.
Memories of Eden haunt.
But a Paradise far greater
Calls across the abyss of separation
(And we cry as we remember and look forward to the day
When the memories of things unexperienced become reality
A reality far greater than what now is)
Jesus, Heaven and oneness with the God of love
Life has a way of surprising you in delightful ways every now and then, and then sometimes not so delightfully.
I am of the firm belief that too many of us rush through our life with our eyes focused only on where we are going and forget to delight in the beauty and awe of the path we are traveling, however rugged and rough it might be.
Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I still revel in the awe that I am on the other side of the world. I have lived on this side of the world for a total of about a year and a half, and I still delight every now and then in the fact that the world is round and it is possible to be on this side of it and live life and not fall off the edge! I knew that all before I came here (dear me, of course I did!), but I still lie in bed sometimes and just marvel at the fact that the world is so big and I am so little.
And sometimes on my bike on the way to the market, or to meet with some friends, I look around at all the different faces traveling down the crowded little street and wonder who all those people are, and what their lives are like and where they are going and what kind of personalities they have. And usually I say a prayer for them, silently, so that I don’t need to open my mouth and breathe in more smog belched out by those noisy little tuk-tuks than I need to.
I think God delights when we delight in what he has created, and in what life holds for us. I love showing something to a friend that I know they will enjoy, simply for the joy it brings to me.
For me, delight is a part of survival. I need to delight in life, or its imagined drudgery would claim me as its victim.
Part of it is being willing to laugh at myself when things don’t quite go as they should. Like the other day at work, when I walked into the bathroom and came upon the striking sight of flower petals in the toilet.
At least I am quite sure they were flower petals, but I had not seen any flowers anywhere close in the general vicinity. I flushed them into the great unknown of the belly of the toilet, and then I went out in and in my best Thai I exclaimed to my co-worker that there were flowers in the toilet.
She looked at me sideways as if to say, “Do you know what you’re talking about?”
I said it again and she only said, “Really!” I could see she was trying to remember the phone number of the nearest mental hospital.
I just laughed, and to assuage her fears, I said, “I’m not sure.”
Which was a lie. There were flowers in the toilet!
Sometimes God calls us to delight at strange times of the night. This morning I woke up at 2:30 and couldn’t sleep. After a while, I went out onto the porch and delighted in the silence of the night. I was still there when the neighbor man came home, and from the looks of him, he had been out delighting in the late Saturday night life. But I imagine that it wasn’t to the glory of God. Especially when a few minutes later I heard the unappetizing noise of what sounded like someone expelling the intake of a Saturday night revelry. I betook myself inside to delight in the stillness inside, only to have the noise come through my window.
I am still trying to find the balance of how much to delight in what is going on around me and how much to just focus on where I am going and how I am going to get there, whether it is in balancing my finances or trying to figure out if I really should buy cereal and milk, when rice and noodles would be cheaper.
Or sometimes the need to finding to find this balance of delighting comes home in very practical ways.
Like on the way to church this morning. As I went, I glanced down the street and saw a man coming toward me. I remember thinking about the neighbor man’s Sunday morning habits and wondering if this man seemed like an honest character or not and wondering where he was going, when I suddenly realized the need to watch where I was going. But it was a little too late. I swerved in time to keep from hitting squarely a large crate beside the little house that guards the entrance to the neighborhood, or koolpunt, as it is called. As it was, we made a grinding noise together for what seemed a long time.
Quite embarrassed, but relieved it wasn’t worse, I came off and talked with the guard about paying for damages, since I broke off a slat or too. He called his superior over and he glanced at it and they laughed discreetly, or not so discreetly, and waved me on.
Later on my way back, I nodded at a guard and a delighted grin came over his face. It was not just a “hi, how- are- you, welcome- to- the- koolpunt” kind of smile.
It was a “oh, there- goes- that- lady- again- who- doesn’t- look- where- she- is –going- and- crashes- into –crates” kind of smile.
I am quite sure it was one of the guards that helped me. And I am quite sure I made his day.
I am so glad he could delight in that.
You keep a squishy ball in your desk to squeeze after 3:30
Friday evenings you catch yourself singing the hallelujah chorus and doing wheelies in the lane (after everybody else is gone)
You start finding those 3rd grade jokes funny (why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 eight 9!)
At events with friends you suddenly find yourself telling everybody what to do, and suddenly realize that it isn’t your job after all
Someone uses incorrect grammar and you find yourself correcting them
You find yourself patting the toilet and saying, “Good job!” when it flushes properly.
Sundays are delightful days of listening to someone else preaching instead of doing it yourself
The bathroom is the only place where you can find a moment of peace and quiet (She’s in the bathroom again?!)
You keep chocolate chips in your desk as an after school snack
You find yourself in precarious places that teacher training never prepared you for, like up in the lofty heights of a prickly evergreen tree, trying to catch the kitten that belongs to your fifth grade student
- You embarrass yourself (and everybody else) when you bawl your eyes out at the graduation ceremony of your former students
You find the saying below hilariously funny
When I was very young (I am still young, but not quite so very young) we moved 1 ½ miles to a new home, a large roomy house with a barn and acres of farmland. It was a mildly traumatic event in my life, which had already reached the painful age of 3. The day we moved I remember standing in front of the couch where my mom was taking a break and looking up at her.
“Mom, I want to go home!”
A few days later, my mom took me along to clean the old trailer house where we had been living in, in preparation for the new owners. She took me with her so I would have a chance to “go home” again. Once we reached there, I looked around sadly at the empty walls and the echoing rooms and said, “Mom, this isn’t home either.”
Where is it? Is it the little trailer house under the Osage orange trees that gather dust stirred from the heavy grain trucks that speed down the dirt road in the harvest season? Is it the tall, sprawling farmhouse on the blacktop road that holds the echoes of the laughter and shouts and tears and questions of 5 children with lively imaginations and tall dreams? Or is it this far away land where the language still rings foreign on my American ears, but children dream and laugh and smile just the way I did when I was a child?
They say home is where the heart is. If this is true, I have a portion of my home left back in the old farmhouse where my father and mother and sister still work out their living, milking cows and raising crops. If this is true, I have a home in the little white schoolhouse where I attended for 8 years and then taught for three years, laughing and crying and beseeching God for wisdom and strength as I taught in my naivete. I have a home where my heart is scattered all over Asia on short term mission trips last year, concrete Cambodian dwellings, thatched Indian huts or mountain built Chinese abodes. I have a home with a Thai family that I shared a roof and food and laughter, life and visions with for 2 ½ months. Just recently I moved for the 6th time in a little over a year into my final landing place for a while- a medium-sized room with a sink and a counter and a bathroom. Right now I call that home. If I ever leave here, I know that the same pangs of memories will assail me whenever I hear the babble of a foreign language or smell a smidgen of cilantro or see the sun sinking low in the smoky west with palm trees as a frame.
There’s no avoiding this ache that just throbs inside of you if you attempt to live a life to the fullest. Which is better – to stay in your comfort zone and pull the covers tightly over your ears and be safe, never to mourn the things you have loved, because you have never had the courage to love them? Or to carry a perpetual ache inside of you as you step with God into new situations, feeling the pang of the old loves being torn from you and never being fully able to put into words what they meant to you?
Perhaps this is what it means to enlarge your heart.
Here is a link to a short article that got me thinking today and gave me some words to put to the feelings inside of me. singing songs of joy in a foreign land
Sometimes when hearts that have been protected and shielded have their eyes opened to the real world and see life the way it really is, there is a danger. A slow, subtle, unsuspected danger, but a danger nonetheless.
It’s called cynicism.
In my childhood, I was blessed with hardworking parents who loved me, taught me about God, practiced a life of purity and passed on values that had been passed on to them from their parents. At home, we had sunny days and cloudy days. It wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot. But it was good. And sheltered.
I was a voracious reader, and I devoured books day after day, filling my mind with knowledge of life outside my home, outside my culture, outside my realm of experience. It broadened my horizons and sprouted the dreams of what I am living out today.
But books can only do so much. Without experience to attach to what I was reading, the life I read about in storybooks was just that- storybook reality. When I heard someone else telling tales of their life in a foreign land, or their adventures in serving God in an inner city, or stories of serving Him on some distant reservation, I attached to them the fairy tale perfectness that I seemed to see in the books I was reading, although the books I was reading were far from fairy tale perfect. Take Run Baby Run, for example, the graphic story of a street gangster’s conversion. But what I was reading was in a book. When you can open something, step into it for a moment, see, feel, and experience to a certain degree what is happening, and then successfully step out again into your own life, it is not reality! As long as you can shut out of your life someone else’s pain and hardship and experiences, it is not true reality until you are in that place without a way to escape into a sub-reality. Or maybe I should say without choosing to escape into a sub-reality. As much as books can transform your life, they are no substitute for reality.
When reality hits and your eyes are opened through experience, there comes a crucial point of deciding what you will do with what you have experienced.
We have several choices. We can become hardened to what we see, and gradually embrace the culture of sin that we see around us. We can forget the standard of holiness that has been set for us by God and blend into the life around us, just going with the flow.
Or we can become bitter. When you see someone else’s pain and sympathize with them, when you know what could have been done to avoid it, when you see that the source of the pain is ongoing and you are helpless to stop it, the temptation comes to carry their grudges on your back, their pain as your responsibility to avenge. You walk around with a chip on your shoulder, ready to fight for your cause at the drop of a hat.
Or we become overwhelmed. What can I, as only one person, do in this situation? It looks hopeless, so we retreat to our own little world of life – reality as we know it, and try to forget what we saw and experienced.
Or we become cynical.
My reaction has been cynicism. When I see the harsh reality that people we revere, honor, respect, listen to, read about in books, or have placed on a pedestal are not perfect, I become cynical. When I see the world around me crumbling to pieces because of a denial of reality, or realize with shock that what I had seen as reality is not true, I become cynical. When my ideas and dreams of what should be true are shattered, it is then I become cynical.
Since I moved back into big city life a couple of weeks ago, I am astounded by the variety of living conditions that I see here in this Asian country. On the same street as a sprawling mansion are run-down shacks and tents. In the same city as towering shopping malls that far outshine anything I saw in my small town American hometown are the wretched makeshift dwellings of migrant workers that eke out a living building those same towering structures. Wealth speaks from every corner, and so does poverty.
In this land of smiles, keeping face and being “perfect” has so much sway. But behind the smiles, behind the façade of peace and perfectness, lie anger, pain, and spiritual poverty. A father pulls a gun on a son, because he shares his belief in Christ. Yet he would never display that anger in the presence of a foreigner because he would look bad. For these people, what you see defines reality.
I hate facades. I think the reason I hate them is because I am so guilty of wearing them myself. So when I see facades and shells of what is really true, I become cynical and disillusioned, because I know what lies behind the outer mask.
Recently I had the privilege to join a group of young ladies for a night out. We boarded a riverboat, and with soft Christmas music playing, we pushed off into the gentle night, enjoying our dinners as we glided along in the surreal atmosphere. Soft lantern light splashed on the water in patches and on either sides of the river, we could see the lights of the city- gorgeous, iridescent, shimmering, exotic.
But as we traveled, I found it hard to relax and be content. Beauty eluded me, because everywhere I looked I only saw sin and filth beneath the exterior. Instead of the soaring malls that rose beside us occasionally, I saw wealth gained from exploitation and greed and the fallacy that “more is better.” Instead of the arched bridges that we glided under, I saw only the graffiti painted on the sides and thought of the drunken revelries that take place there. Instead of the romantic restaurants that lined the riverside, I thought of gluttony and starving children and girls giving their bodies in exchange for money. Instead of peaceful sidewalks and lantern-lit parks that we floated past, I thought of rapes and murders.
As I found myself thinking these things, my first thought was, “God, what has happened to me? Is it supposed to be like this? Why can’t I see beauty in life anymore? Is there no real beauty anymore? Or is there only the “beauty” that we construct with our hands to mask the dirt and the pain of this city?”
But then I listened. And what I heard was a direct answer to my prayer.
Because over the water floated a song, sung from the lips of girls whose lives were pure and whose hearts were seeking the only One who satisfies.
Tears come into my eyes as I remember this now. These were the words:
“Love one another, for love is of God,
He who loves is born of God and knows God,
He who does not love, does not know God
For God is love, God is love.
Love bears all things, believes all things
Love hopes all things, endures all things.
God is love, God is love, God is love!
God is love, God is love, God is love!
God is love, God is love, God is love!
God is love, God is love, God is love!
Love the Lord thy God with all strength,
With all thy soul, all thy strength, all thy mind
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart
For God is love, God is love, God is love!”
In that moment I realized that the source of all beauty comes from God Himself. When these girls let His beauty shine into their hearts and overflow, I was able to glimpse a bit of God’s heart and see with His eyes. Because that is the other option we have when we are faced with reality- to see the world with His eyes, instead of becoming jaded and cynical, or unsuspectingly embrace the culture around us.
Now when I look at the world around me, I still see past the outside and see hearts submerged in sin and shame. I still look at the hawkers in cultural dress at the night market, selling their little wooden creations, and wonder if they actually get any of the money from the sales they make. Sadly, I still look with distaste at fat white men who stroll along streets of bars hand in hand with native young woman, and I still struggle to love them.
We live in a broken world. I must realize that and wrestle with that and come to a place where I can see the hand of God moving – using imperfect humans who are filled with His perfect spirit to restore the beauty this world was meant to have.
One heart at a time, one soul at a time. And there is so much beauty in that reality.
Ok, so here I go again, posting something that I wrote a couple of months ago. But on a recent beautiful trip down the river, an article started bubbling in my brain, but I realized that this one brings bring context to that one, so I’ll post this first and as I have time, give way to the urge to write the other one that’s forming in my mind.
I’m not sure when it all began. Perhaps it was when I read the book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, an unlikely book to inspire any kind of change. Or perhaps it was when I started traveling past my mailbox into the great unknown. I really don’t know. But sometime along the line it happened.
I’m not exactly sure what happened. But whatever it was, it did happen. Or it started to.
I know. That doesn’t make sense. But it doesn’t really make sense to me either.
In the book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain, a man travels through time and ends up in King Arthur’s era, and is quickly awakened to the reality of medieval times, which was not the glamorous fairy tale setting usually pictured of that time. Instead of noble knights in shining armor rescuing beautiful, intelligent maidens and sacrificing their noble lives for noble causes in a noble manner, the knights were actually fat, belching, lazy, impotent hobbledehoys, whose only passion was themselves. Not your typical fairy tale. But it probably was a more accurate picture of that era than many books are.
Our lives are filled with fairy tale fascinations, dreams of the past and of the future, heroes in shining armor, always gazing out past the dreary existence of our own lives and seeing with hope (in what?) of another place, a place where dreams come true.
Dreams are good. Let me clarify that-some dreams are good. I was a dreamer. I still am. Before I finally came to the realization (around the age of 14 or so) that you can actually listen to the ministers on Sunday, church was my primary place to dream. While well-meaning preachers thought my rapt gaze and attention was on them, I was off on my own, constructing worlds where I was the hero, the lady in shining armor, rescuing slaves after slavery had once again been allowed in my imaginary America, getting captured by cruel men and held in prison before escaping through the barred window with sheets made into ropes or parachutes (I forget which), being persecuted by Chinese police in green coats, or on my deathbed with pneumonia, as my friends crowded around apologizing for all the wrongs they had done me. In school, I would read about Ping in China, Nils in Finland, or Carlos in Mexico and research all I could on American Indians, regretting that I was born 150 years too late, too late to make it onto a wagon train headed for Oregon, too late to be an abolitionist ranting against slavery, and too late to head up into Yukon Territory to stake a gold claim like Jason did in Jason’s Gold.
I’m not saying that those dreams were bad. They helped foster an adventurous spirit that sometimes takes on more it can handle because it never stops to think that in real life this just might be too much. (That’s when it’s the grace of God that carries me.) But slowly I am coming to the realization that so much of the life I have lived has been lived in a dream, in a shadow.
We all do it, building castles in shadowlands to escape reality, some more than others and all to different degrees and in different areas. Some are doing it with the American dream, the fallacy that they can carve out a life for themselves in their own strength and that someday, once they are on the top of the ladder, they can stop working and happiness will finally be there to greet them. The sad thing is, they often actually do find themselves at the top of the ladder and that is a lonely place to be indeed. Some people live their life in the past, collecting relics and weaponry from ancient times and spending thousands on antiques and the like. Our hobbies can become our castles, places where we can escape from lives that are deathly boring. Museums do it, with simulated educational displays that show shadows of what really is reality. We live in a plastic world of video and computer games which only mirror what really is out there. We see this carried out in advertising all the time…. “Wear this kind of clothing and you will be beautiful and popular.(fulfill this dream)” “Buy this truck and your smile will look like this and your muscles will look like this and all these gorgeous ladies will hang around you all the time.(fulfill that dream)”
Please excuse me while I go throw up.
I do my castle building in various ways. When I was younger, I read with fascination all the books I could on other countries, wishing with all my heart that I could live in Mexico and go trading with Carlos, or that I could live on a Chinese junk on the Yangtze River with Ping, or tap a nail like Nils did in Finland to magically become small and live in a mouse hole with his friend. Life around the world was so much more interesting than my humdrum existence!
But it is changing. When someone looks at your own life with fascination, believing you live in a utopia-like world of quilts and horses and buggies and hand-crafted furniture, where families are always happy and all is slow-paced and predictable and peaceful, it makes you think several times when you look into the “fascinating” cultures of the lives of people around the world.
After spending more than 8 months in Asia, a little more of the fairy tale fascinations have left me. (Somebody help me! I’m growing up!) The beauty of the Orient has now become real, but so has the ugliness. Instead of hazy figures dressed in exotic costumes and living a surreal lifestyle like I dreamed they would, these are real people. They have real hurts. They have real needs. They do not see anything exotic about themselves.
Instead of numbers and vague figures when I now think of these people, I see the girl with lustrous black eyes mirroring an ocean of pain. I see the crippled beggar at the night market, helpless and unable to walk on his own. I see the tears of the bar girl, crying out her sorrow because the man that she thought actually loved her left her in the lurch. I see the dark almond shaped eyes of the little girl who has no father and whose mother is no more than a girl herself. I see the desperation of the
girl who wants to learn English in order not to enter the slave-like existence of the factory worker like her mother and father before her. These people are real.
If someone would have told me that I would write something like this years ago, I would have stoned them for false prophecy. Indeed, it almost feels heretical to say that I don’t need the dreams or castles that I had. Because we’re supposed to dream aren’t we? I still do. (North Korea anyone?) And I hope I never lose the wonder and the fascination of God’s world and the people he created.
The dreams I lived in before were enough. But they no longer suffice. Our world is a synthetic world of substitutes. We substitute fun for joy, money for happiness, dreams for reality, simulated displays and games for the real thing. Those things are merely shadows, the wrapping that points to what is actually inside the gift, the gift of reality. Why do we so often content ourselves with playing around with the wrapping and never open the gift?
I don’t know. Because once we taste a bit of reality, we are no longer content to feed ourselves on the ashes of before. But sometimes, without realizing it, we come back home expecting to fit right back into those dreams, but they no longer fit, and we feel like naked turtles that no longer fit into their shells.
When the expectations we have are stripped away, names and numbers become faces, and the future becomes the present, reality becomes reality.
And sometimes it hurts.
Yet what we see in the real people that we meet is still not the truest reality. The truest reality that exists is God, his truth, and heaven. We were not made for this world, and that is why we hide behind plastic. We were not created to weather life the way we are forced to do, or face the stark pain of life, and that is why we build castles.
Because we were made to live in castles.
Right now we live in the shadowlands of what is the realest reality. We look through a glass that is darkened with soot and sometimes God wipes away a bit of the soot and we glimpse more of what is on the other side and cry out desperately for more of that vision.
Oh God, give us eyes to see!
This poem is already over a year old. It was written after a trip to a third world country, and then, after another trip, I revised it to its current form. It’s one that I can keep adding to as I continue to travel and experience life. It is modeled after a poem by Makrina Wiederkehr, called “Amen, My Lord, Amen.”
And God said
“Behold this world
It is good.”
And I beheld
And said, “Amen.”
Amen to green-misted jungles
And twisted vines
That dangle over mysterious rivers!
Amen to breaking oceans
That crash against shores
And shout out stormy praise!
Amen to sweet grapefruit juice
That whispers of Eden
With a fragrance of Paradise;
Amen to sunrises
Flung over shouting oceans
Slanting glorious light!
Amen to high rise mountains
Framing the sky
Etched against a tropical blue!
And Amen to palm fronds
Silhouetted by a shrouded hazy full moon
In Oriental skies.
Amen, Lord! Amen!
And God said, “Behold again.
Not all is good, but I let it be so.
I will use it to glorify me.
Will you accept this?
Will you let this be your life?
Will you say amen?”
I looked and saw
Cities and slums with trash-lined streets
Races and countries destroyed by war,
Twisted men and women and innocent children
Slashed with pain;
I saw sorrow and imperfection;
I turned my face away in pain, whimpering.
I said, “I will not look.
No Lord, I cannot . I cannot say amen.”
But when I turned away
The sea no longer shouted;
The mountains faded;
Fragrances became odors;
All color washed away.
The cup I lifted to my lips
So I said, “Yes Lord.”
Amen to hard beds and stifling air and crowded rooms and dirty clothes
Amen to flea infested rooms where rats scuttle across dirt floors
Amen to pain filled eyes, sickness and weariness and endless need
That breaks my heart to fill.
Amen to the cup of suffering that my Saviour drank
Amen to sweat and tears and backbreaking labor
To misunderstanding and rejection from fellowman.
For my God can bring shouting oceans
That praise Him
Out of the tears of men!
He can bring forth mountain men, mighty and strong
From the twisted limbs of broken humanity!
He brings forth the fragrance of Hope out of the death
Of bent flesh that becomes crucified;
He builds skyscrapers that speak of His glory to all
Out of the voiceless junk heaps of human vessels!
And crystal rivers of purity
From the stagnant ponds of Adam’s strain.
My God brings strength out of weakness!
Amen, my Lord, Amen!
I am not resigned.
I am not resigned to aged eyes swift-closed in sure death
That have never been opened to sight;
I am not resigned to the shutting away of hard hearts
That have never felt the piercing of light;
I am not resigned to senseless pursuit of sensual desires
Deaf to the piping of a far greater call;
I am not resigned to harsh words of pain and rejection
Building the stones around those who fall;
I am not resigned to the gradual sinking and pulling away
Into the isolation of a scarred soul;
I am not resigned to walls that are built by default of man
To protect from love that would heal and make whole;
I am not resigned to strongholds of fear and chaos
And anger that cripples and maims;
I am not resigned to the casual throwing away
Of God-designed souls to eternal flames;
No! No! I am not resigned!!
I am not resigned.
I hesitate to write about this, because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I am not pining away and not eating and wasting into nothing. (more like the opposite).
My question is, why do we feel homesick? Or more correctly, why do I feel homesick? Why can’t I live to the fullest where I am right now instead of thinking of what used to be, and being pulled back to the past? Why can’t I embrace to the fullest this dream that has been God’s and mine for so long- serving Him where ever He leads? When I was at home, I was homesick for this country. Last year when I was here, I was homesick for home. Am I just some wavering, emotional person who can’t be satisfied with what God gives, or is there something deeper? Is there another reason I get homesick?
I know I’ve wrestled through this before, this feeling of longing for something that is no more. I went through it at the age of 16 when I left our home for a week to help my cousin with her newborn baby. That one week felt like a year. I cried every night, lost weight, and counted down the days until I could go home again. That was one week. One week!
Sometimes at times like this, especially in the morning, one little thing, or item, or thought, or word, can stir up a memory of things that used to be, and we long for those people again, and home, or even those other hardships that seem easier to bear now that they are in the past and time has smoothed away the pain. Childhood memories, things I haven’t thought about for ages, come rushing back. And yet, my question is, why, why, do I find it so hard to embrace the present, and live life to the fullest when I am in the moment, instead of waiting until it is past to realize how much it meant to me? Like right now, why can’t I embrace to the fullest what I am experiencing right now, instead of missing the things that are past?
And I wonder, where is home exactly?
Usually I try to tell myself, just get over it. Being homesick shows you don’t have the ability to live in the present, and you’re never satisfied or grateful with what you have. You’re not there, you’re here. Get over it. (that doesn’t really work.)
But then something else says, wait. Perhaps there is something deeper than what you are seeing now.
Perhaps the real reason we get homesick is because we really weren’t created to have this world as our home. We get homesick for our earthly home because deep inside, where perhaps we don’t even realize it, we are homesick for our real home, for what actually is reality. The home we’ll never leave once we get there.
And knowing this, I let myself grieve the past.
So often in the morning as I awake
In the early hours of the dawn
When snatches of a windblown dream
Dance on the edges of my awakening
My heart is turned to home
And fleeting sprites of memories
Wisp in and out of my thoughts
And my heart that is still not large enough
Aches with the loss of what it cannot have
And longs to embrace what it does have.
Then in the presence of these memories
That danced in my half-awakened dream
I give in to the pain of being mortal
And unable to understand it all
And then I bow my head, and let the… tears… fall…