Beautiful spring days have been a rarity lately. So when we awoke on Saturday with the hope of sunny skies and warm temps, my husband and I headed off to spend time enjoying it while we can. On the agenda for the day was the high school girls fast-pitch tournament where our hometown girls were playing. As I sat watching them play and basking in the sun, it dawned on me that in the game of softball, the entire goal is getting home.
I think getting home is everyone’s goal. We go to work, but the entire time we are thinking, when can I go home. We go on vacation, but eventually, we just want to get back home. Home has something that no other place has. It is the place we feel the most loved, safe and accepted; the place we can be our best selves. The problem is, just like in the game of softball, getting home can be hard.
You see, not everyone lives in a place that feels like home. They are surrounded by hate, fear, and rejection. They find themselves, like many of the players I watched in the softball games, stranded on base, unable to get home. I believe that in this life we can have a place to live but we are actually spiritually and emotionally homeless.
There are basically two ways we become homeless. First, our own choices can leave us without the atmosphere of home. I turn to the very beginning of the Bible to see how this happens. Adam and Eve had the perfect home. They had hit the home run of situations. They were completely loved, safe, and “felt no shame.” They walked with the presence of God daily in their lives and were entirely nourished by Him. That is until one day when the wrong person entered their home. Satan had one goal, too; his intention was not to get us home but to take it away.
Our enemy starts the way he did with Adam and Eve. He tempts us to be dissatisfied with our home. As soon as Eve questioned the goodness of home, she chose to follow a path that would never lead her home. She wanted her own way, and it soon left her and her family homeless. She tried to steal home and was called “out.” When we choose our own way and not God’s ways, it will always leave us homeless; without God’s presence and without the atmosphere of home.
The second way we become homeless is through the choices of other people. Later in the book of Genesis, I find a story that shows how this happens. Due to the decisions of Joseph’s brothers, he found himself taken away from home. Basically, he was left stranded on second base due to the “outs” of others. Soon the safety of his father’s love was replaced by the fear of his brother’s hatred. The robe of his father’s acceptance was replaced by the ropes of jealous actions. Quickly Joseph found himself in a foreign land far from the atmosphere of home.
Our enemy, Satan, will also use the choices of others to take us away from home. From abuse to abandonment, we can be left in the foreign land of emotional pain. Fear becomes the cardboard structure we live under. We can quickly start making the same choices that took us away from home and it just increases the distance. Home seems so far away that hurting others becomes the only way we can deal with our own homesickness.
The good news is there is a way to get home. There is someone that is holding out the key to home and just asking us to take it. Someone that has hit the longest home run so that we can all get home. His name is Jesus. Jesus stands on home plate and calls us home. Because He knows that in His presence is the forgiveness for our own choices and the healing for other’s decisions. Jesus also knows that when he gets us home, we can become home for others that are homeless.
If I am to become home for others, I must get home first. I must live in the presence of Jesus. I must get forgiveness, and I must give forgiveness. Only then can I become home for the one who desperately needs forgiveness. I must first bring my hurting heart into the healing presence of Jesus and let Him heal me. Then, and only then, will I become a healer for those who are suffering from a homesick heart.
It is time to run for home, to run to the presence of Jesus. Then He will allow us to show others that He is only one way for all of us to get home. Getting home is the goal, after all.