How Can We Miss What We’ve Never Known?
In a concert Rich Mullins discussed Psalm 137.
The Psalm is a lament of the Israelites, sung while they were in captivity. They are asked by their captors to sing the songs of Zion, they reply:
How shall we sing the Lord’s song
in a foreign land?
Rich asks the audience a rhetorical question:
“what land have we ever been in that was not foreign?”
He’s discussing a larger point, and he hardly pauses at all on the question, but I find it haunting.
When have we ever been at home?
When have we ever been safe?
When have we ever been comfortable?
We are sojourners in this land and we long for home. I say this, not to discount our grave responsibility as Stewards of the King, but to remind us that we are bound for another world. The loneliness, the longing, we feel (as C. S. Lewis has pointed out) is evidence that we are meant for another world.
How can we miss for a home we’ve never known?
Sometimes it’s hard for me to long for heaven. My life is pretty nice and I can usually handle, and even enjoy, the day-to-day.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to long for, or miss, a home I’ve never known.
But I think I might have some idea of this when I think about my son.
We are now in the thick of our second adoption process and it’s only slightly easier than our first time through. We have a son that we’ve never met.
We’ve seen one picture.
We have a little health information.
We have his bed set up.
We talk to Isaiah about sharing with his brother (that’s going to be tough).
We pray for him daily.
We know his name.
Enoch Shant Arunav Begg
We’ve never met him.
Yet I miss him dearly.
I ache for his presence in our family, in our home.
I long to hold him.
I get sad when I look at his picture and the feeling sets in that I have no idea how much longer until I hold my son.
I miss a full family, that I’ve never had.
I miss my son and I’ve never met him.
Maybe this is a little like what longing for heaven is like.