home and a theology of moving


i came across this article on moving when it came out last august/september.  to be honest i didn’t give it a second thought.  i had just moved into a new house.  i loved my new neighborhood and was enjoying the new positive attitude i had towards miami.  this afternoon i came across the article again and being in a bit of a different place now, it meant a lot to me.  

we’re now on our way out of miami.  we just had to pack up our belongings and put them in 10×30 feet of space and are about to drive to a different state for a strange game of wait-and-see.  we had to leave a home we loved.  and my attitude towards the town that looks like our most probable next home hasn’t been the best.

the whole article is worth the read but these passages really hit home:

The Incarnation becomes the model for moving. “Lord, this is the place you’re bringing me. I don’t feel at home here. But that’s how you felt when you came to your own but your own did not receive you. Yet you chose lovingly to become one with us, to take our likeness and our sorrows. Fill me with appreciation for your move to my town, this earth, your identification with me. And help me identify with this place.”

…Choose to make yourself at home, God said. Enter into the life of the community. Become a settled positive member of the very foreign culture that was responsible for your uprooting. Become productive, a giver not just a taker. Enter into deep relationships. Seek the prosperity, the shalom of that city. Throw yourself into the place you’ve found yourself. God says to them, it is in incarnational living in Babylon that you will find your own success.

Being sent incarnationally, like Jesus, we’re called to so get into-not under-others’ skin in our new community that we sympathize with their weaknesses, indeed are right there with them, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Discovering and understanding their fears, desires, needs, hobbies, pain, dreams, and emotional baggage, looking for places to show affirmation and the love of Jesus.

…Some of you may not feel at home where you are. But as you bask in the truth of the move that Jesus made for you, don’t wait to feel at home. Instead, choose to be at home because you realize you are home in Christ’s arms. Fix up your apartment as if it is home. As you “make the Most High your dwelling,” you’ll work hard at deepening relationships, you will ask God what it means to be a part of your community, and you’ll pray for the shalom of your city.

Then, when you move again, you’ll do it again. And God will not only redeem your move, He will continue His work to prosper and redeem your city.

pre-packing coziness
pre-packing coziness

6 thoughts on “home and a theology of moving

  1. I’m ashamed to say I also found this article around the time we moved into our house last fall, but due to my cynicism and general bad attitude, I never picked it up and read it. It sounds like it would have been worth the read! I’m praying for you when I think of you.

  2. it seems like the point might be that moving from a city you didn’t like and then DID like to a city/town that you don’t like (and maybe WILL like or maybe NOT!), makes one think about THE city? i don’t know about you but sometimes i create a false dichotomy in my head/heart alone the lines of my anchored-ness to my earthly city is inversely proportional to how much i think of and long for the eternal city.

    maybe you don’t do this. and boy, i’m certainly not intending a lesson here in the vein of: being wrenched from your home makes ya long for heaven, right??? but it does seem like times of upheaval can turn our hearts toward the eternal and i hope that you guys are experiencing that through tears and loss and stress right now.

    talk soon, i hope.

  3. oops. comment got deleted. Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you in your waiting and in your transition and remind you that many who’ve hated a place have grown to love it with a passion. I’m hoping the job situation will settle soon so you can find a new home somewhere.

  4. I love the pictures in the last few posts. (Randy even stated, “Nice wine rack.” 🙂 )

    Anyway, I’m so glad that you grew to love the place God had you. Transitions are difficult, and waiting is unnerving, but the Lord has already proven to you (and me!) that He can change our hearts and give us a special love for what He brings our way.

    May all go smoothly and peacefully with your transition and final move. Please keep us posted.

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