A month ago we closed on our house in Olympia and, as my children explained it to our friends, we became “homeless.” We quickly taught them a better way to describe our time “between homes,” but in many ways that’s how we’ve felt these last weeks. We’ve stayed in several rental homes, a couple hotels, a cabin, a tent (on purpose!), a friend’s home, and will soon move into our temporary rental for the next few months as our townhome is renovated. At each new location Jude asks, as only a three-year-old boy can, “Is this my new home?” “No, son, not this one… not yet.”
Moving involves displacement, uprooting, transience, and sojourning. It’s uncomfortable and unsettling. Having sailed away from one firm shore and now looking toward another in faith, it is an unmoored existence. It is life, neither here nor there, but “on the way.”
It occurs to me that our journey right now is something of a parable. The Bible tells us that we who follow Christ are “sojourners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11) whose “citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). Although we reside here on earth, this is merely our temporary arrangement. Our true home lies beyond. The writer to Hebrews describes the “strangers and exiles on the earth” who live by faith as those who “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13–16).
One day we will be home. Truly home. It will be the home we have been looking for all our lives, though we will not know it till we arrive. Then we will finally belong, rest, and settle in knowing we shall never be moved again. But until then, it is one temporary arrangement after another.
“Is this our new home?” “No, son, not this one… not yet.”