Friday, July 18, 2008


Big question for Shari & I over the last few weeks: what do we call "home"?
  • Is it where we live - Fresno, CA? (Well, to be technical, we live in an unincorporated town called Easton and have a Fresno address, but you know what I mean.)
  • Is it where we lived the longest - Nashville, TN? (We were there for 11 years.)
  • Is it where we grew up - which means North Richland Hills, TX (a suburb of Ft. Worth) for Shari & Placentia, CA (north Orange County) for me?
  • Is it where our families live? This one's a bit more complicated: Shari's immediate family is in Willis, TX (north of Houston) while my folks are in Columbia City, OR (north of Portland) and my sister is in Highlands Ranch, CO (a suburb of Denver).
For me, all of this is complicated by the "calling" process of being a full-time pastor... in some ways, "home" is where I'm called by God to serve & plant my life.

As I was thinking about it while driving on Wednesday morning, it occurred to me that all of those definitions could be correct - but are inadequate to describe the spiritual realities of my life - oh, heck, of anyone's life.
  • Home is where my wife & boys are... they are both generous gifts from God and great responsibilities.
  • Home is my church... we used to sing an old praise chorus about "the family of God" which sounds cheesy when you're belting it out but actually encapsulates a spiritual truth - those of us adopted as God's children through Christ's sacrifice are family.
  • Home is the larger capital "C" Church... everyone who is a follower of Christ is my brother or my sister. We're family - and we're admonished in Scripture to live & to love in light of that.
  • At the deepest point, home is with Jesus... now, through the presence of the Holy Spirit; eventually, when I see Him face to face in Heaven.
The settled happiness and security which we all desire God withholds from us by the very nature of the world; but joy, pleasure and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bath or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home. (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain)
More to come next week... this is a subject deep enough to swim in for a while.

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