I heard a new song when I turned on my Spotify, early Easter Sunday morning. The song, A Place Called Earth, by Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot) and Lauren Daigle. About how those of us who hold Christ dear to our hearts, long for heaven while we’re still standing on this planet Earth. It’s beautiful, powerful, poignant, and the words resonated deep within my soul. But for some reason, I saved it on my account and moved on, never listening again.
This morning, despite only listening to this song on Easter morning, I awoke with the words pulsing deep within my veins. I had to look it up and listen once again. It deeply speaks to the name of my blog–Life in Between. This is the ultimate “in between” that we as Christians face in this earthly home we share with so many. And for years I’ve wondered why we have such difficulty in painting this world more like what we envision heaven to be, than the world filled with war and hunger and strife that we’ve created for ourselves. Maybe these thoughts step on toes.
I’m tired of tip-toeing. I’m 57, and I’ve faced abuse and cancer and fear and rape and bullying and now a worldwide pandemic; and I’ve seen hunger and poverty and the ravages of disease both in foreign countries and my own. My mama came from nothing, my dad had little more when growing up. They made it to middle class status by the sweat of their brow and the work of their hands and the deep grace of God. Not everyone does. The world is unkind and unfair and very, very fickle. And that truth troubles my heart. Has troubled my heart for most of my life.
Only God can give us what we most desperately need–love, forgiveness, mercy, favor. What we neglect to see, however, is that it’s HIS love, HIS forgiveness, HIS mercy, HIS favor, we need. Not the world’s. Not the pretty baubles, bows, cars, boats, and houses this world waves in our faces like symbols of our own personal worth. But the beauty behind this truth is that when we seek Him, we learn to show love, forgiveness, mercy, and favor to all those around us. We stop seeing the things of this world that we “have to have” and we start seeing the things we have that we can share–love, hope, the offer of a helping hand. It isn’t easy and it’s often not much fun and it often rips tiny holes in our own hearts. I believe those tiny holes are how His light shines brightest through us.
This desire to share what we’ve been given by God is in our hearts as a natural by-product of what He has already given us–if we will only seek it first and foremost. Once it’s there, it’s difficult to contain it. It doesn’t make the dirt of the world disappear. Not yet. I know you wish it did. I wish it did, too. But it does bring comfort and hope and a peace which truly does pass understanding.
We live on the borderline, the in-between. This moment and the next. This world and the next. Lies and Truth. Despair and Hope. Hunger and Plenty. Poor and Rich. Sickness and Health. This moment alone and Eternity.
No one on this planet is without some form of suffering. It is the nature of the world we live in. As a Christian, I firmly believe it was caused many eons ago by the entering of sin in mankind. A byproduct of continual bad personal and societal choices, as well. The suffering I have faced I only live through on a day-by-day basis, leaning hard into the Love God offers me freely. It doesn’t take away the suffering, but it does make it bearable and gives me hope that tomorrow will be better, brighter, and filled with something more. But even if tomorrow is just as dark as today, I know He is still there, holding me, guiding me, loving me.
What’s in your heart to share with those around you? Is it hope? Or is it anger and despair? Seek the source of True Light and True Love and share the hope that He has given us to share. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll catch the tiniest glimpse of the heaven we all seek on this earth.