Sunday, March 7, 2010

This Is Not My Home

My wife and I are moving again. We're packing up our rented duplex and moving six blocks away to the house we're buying. I hate moving. Since we were married in 2003, we have moved from Indianapolis to Minneapolis to Portland back to Minneapolis and back to Indianapolis. That's not even counting the multiple places we've lived in all of those cities. So, I think I come by my hatred for moving honestly.

When you move that much, it's easy to feel like an orphan - like someone without a home. It's easy to convince yourself that you don't belong and that everyone else in the room knows you don't belong. I couldn't get a cup of coffee in Portland without realizing I didn't belong because everyone in there was cooler than me. I couldn't get through a Minnesota winter without realizing I didn't belong on the frozen tundra.

Being an orphan, at least spiritually, is something I've known for awhile. I have long felt stuck between two places - the church and the world. I have loved both and hated both more passionately than you can imagine. I once heard Vigilantes of Love in concert at Taylor University. The lead singer, Bill Malonee, said something to the effect of, "I'm a little too worldly for the church and a little too churchy for the world. I live in a place about the size of a postage stamp." I couldn't have said it better myself.

I used to think this sense of not belonging was a problem, but lately I've begun to wonder if we should all feel a little like orphans. The church should be a place where we learn about community and are refreshed, it should not be the end in-and-of itself. We go to church to experience God's grace in tangible ways. We are then compelled to go into the world to live out that grace for all to see in hopes that they too will want to be transformed by it.

We don't really fit in this world - not yet. But on Sundays during Lent we are reminded to look up from our obsession with our brokenness and set our eyes on the risen Lord who will someday fix this world. Then we will no longer be orphans. We will simply be home.

A Prayer For The Third Sunday Of Lent
Lord, we are orphans in this world. We are alone. Make your presence known to us. Remind us that you walk with us through this life. Be our father and mother when our parents neglect us. Be our brother and sister when those close to us fail us. But above all, be our Savior and bring about your kingdom so that all your orphans might finally have a home.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer

-Ben Reed, March 7, 2010

Orphan Girl
Gillian Welch

I am an orphan on God's highway
But I'll share my troubles if you go my way
I have no mother no father
No sister no brother
I am an orphan girl

I have had friendships pure and golden
But the ties of kinship I have not known them
I know no mother no father
No sister no brother
I am an orphan girl

But when He calls me I will be able
To meet my family at God's table
I'll meet my mother my father
My sister my brother
No more orphan girl

Blessed Savior make me willing
And walk beside me until I'm with them
Be my mother my father
My sister my brother
I am an orphan girl

1 comment:

Jen said...

Amen. And I love that song. And Gillian when she sings it.