She was talking about conflict, about how she was learning to smile gracefully and walk away. In that, she made a reference to wanting to “just go back to my home”…and the other girls erupted—“No! This is not your home!”
The girls are in jail. When she mentioned wanting to go back “home” she was talking about her cell, and it’s not her home. And yet it is. For now, anyway, it is.
Here’s the tension my precious friend is living in: she is trying her best to bloom where she is planted. She is trying her best to accept with joy whatever the Lord allows to come her way, even jail. She is choosing to see her little cell as her home and look for what good may come of it. This is a good and right thing to do. The Lord loves a grateful heart.
And yet, the other girls are right to give their staunch reminder that it is not her home. They are right to sense a danger in her comfort with this place, lest she grow too comfortable with it. She was made for more. She has a home, a family, children, a car, freedom…so many things (better things) that are waiting for her.
Her cell may be a temporary home, but it is not her real home.
She needs to choose joy, even here. She needs to make the most of this time, but she shouldn’t get too comfortable. She shouldn’t forget that there is more for her than this. She shouldn’t, EVER forget her real home.
I love my time in the jail with these women. It is such a gift, to me. I see life so differently because of them. Today I was reminded about the tension I need to be living in myself. This life is a temporary home. It’s for my good (just as my friend is seeing how jail has been for her good). I need to be grateful for God’s goodness to me in this life, in this home. I need to bloom where I’m planted and to make the most of the opportunities that are given to me in this place, for my growth, for ministry, for His Kingdom and His name’s sake.
All of that is true, but it is also true that this is not my home. My home is in Heaven with my family—my God and Father, and my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my brothers and sisters who have, like me, been adopted into His divine family. My home is a place where there is no more sin, no more death, no more pain or suffering or sorrow. There are better things waiting for me. This home is just a temporary cell by comparison.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:18-21