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to see a video of Gretta
and pictures from her funeral

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This World Is Not My Home

I am not the first to say, 'this world is not my home'; but I've been saying it a lot lately. It's funny in some ways to see the reactions people give. First though, let me explain why I say it.

This world is NOT my home and the death of my sweet Gretta made this real for me. I have spent almost all of my life seeing everything in the here and now. What kind of home do I have? What sort of clothes shall I wear? Am I stylish? Is my car out of date? You know, the usual stuff we can be preoccupied with. What are my friends doing tonight? Where are those people going? What sale at Target? Did I miss something????

When Gretta died, a part of me went too. I have four children and because those four children came from me, I figure at least a fourth of me is gone until eternity. At least that much went with her, home to our Lord. While part of me went home, the rest is made to wander here still and I came to a sharp realization that THIS world is NOT my home anymore. Nor was it ever my "home" in the sense of "home" as we know it. Now maybe I should have realized this before, because it is not a revelation. The Bible tells us, "Be not conformed to this world.....we are not of the world we are just in the world....for I go to prepare a place for you...." (various snippets of scripture taken from various references), so I should not have been surprised. But I was.

The world now holds no appeal to me. This Place has become a shadowland. I feel as if I am an alien traveling through, but still here for a purpose. The colors I see here now, in this temporary dwelling place, are these: Family, Friends, Church, People in need, Grief, Pain, Joy, Spiritual Longing, Wisdom, The Word of God, little children, Creation, Music, Love. But there is no color left in THINGS. Cars, money, houses, boats, clothes, (maybe a little color left in shoes ;)) see where I am going with this?

So when I say "This world is not my home," I am saying it as a reminder to myself, lest I stray from the goal, take my eye off the prize and basically because this is how I feel.

Some people nod their agreement and meet my eyes and I see their fragile pain and the hope they have that they too are aware they are just traveling through. Some people nod their quick agreement and I see in their eyes that they pity my pain and the deepness of my grief, but they have not seen the world in gray quite yet. Some people cough or clear their throat or look away or fidget or walk away even and I know that they still see much color here, but oh how faded it is and they don't even know it. Finally there are some people who look at me and I can see that they are wondering if I just got out of the psych unit somewhere and someone has forgotten to check up on me. I laugh as I write this because it is true about some people.

I hope as I travel through I will have deep friendships, close family ties, many, many strange encounters and divine appointments. I hope I will touch someone's life somewhere as much as I have been touched by others, I hope I will fulfill God's promise to complete a good work in me and like most travels, I hope I do not lose sight of the destination but anticipate the arrival every minute of every day until I get there!

"Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He died and was buried and that He rose again! the third day according to the Scriptures!" Happy Easter!


not2brightGRAM said...

Thank you Leslie for an absolutely beautiful post. I have felt the same thing for a very long time; this world is not my home. Pain has a way of kneading that truth into your life.

And, only God knows the particular pain necessary to make each of us aware of this truth. I've lived long enough to see that all of His children must embrace this truth: some sooner, some later.

A portion of Scripture I cling to:

"Have pity on me, have pity on me,
O you my friends, For the hand of God has struck me!

Why do you persecute me as God does,
And are not satisfied with my flesh?

Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!

That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;

And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God"
Job 19:21-26

God hold you very close, dear mother.

Jessica said...

What a great reality to truely internalize! I agree its something that many people "know" but it's one thing to know it and another to internalize it and shift your hope to something bigger and greater and eternal! I hope I get there someday, too.

Sarah said...

Paul knew...he said to die is gain, but to live is Christ.

Philippians 1

ben and erin said...

beautiful post! what a great hope and promise we have that one day we will be with reunited with those we have lost! i can't imagine how people who don't have that hope can get through grief.

i really am touched by your blog, lesley. it is so encouraging to see your faith blossom in the midst of a trial. still praying for you and your family.

Sara said...

I found your blog. You are an amazing woman with an amazing heart. Thank you for faithfully speaking the truth of Jesus and for not turning your back on Him when most would have walked away. You have an eternity ahead of you.

A day in the Life... said...

Thankyou for this GREAT reminder! I think we all get caught up in this world without remembering what the Big Picture is and without remembering that this World is not our home we are just a passing through.

I used to sing that song all the time in Sunday School but had forgotten about it until now :)

kamahiclan said...

You are a truly amazing woman with a witness that surely pleases God. Your faith is very inspiring to me and I grieve for you at such a trying time in your life.

Jody said...

Hi, Leslie

I just got your blog from Jeannie Fox, she mentioned she went to high school with you and has asked we pray for you.
Though my situation is different than yours, I too lost a child 8 months ago. Heaven is all I think about too. Things I thought were important before really aren't important at all. You and your family will be in my prayers daily and we will also be praying for your four year old.

Jody Abernathy

Anonymous said...

thinking about you and hoping you'll write again soon ~ are you okay?

love from va