Transplants

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by the roots. It has been planted, but will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it—wither away in the plot where it grew?”  Ezekiel 17:9-10

Are we transplants? Homesick for our real home?

Autumn Joy

Autumn Joy (Photo credit: Gary Lerude)

I am creating new “trim” around the edge of the house by splitting up old friends; digging them up by their roots and forcing them into a new neighborhood. Plenty of water, sunshine and hopefully they will settle in and make new friends.

I don’t like to be uprooted. I don’t like moving. I don’t like being forced into a new community of unknowns. I don’t make new friends easily and I am shy out the wazoo. My firstborn was shy too. He liked his Sabbath School class as long as mommy or daddy was with him. When he got a little older it was expected that we would leave him in the careful hands of teachers to enjoy the program with other little ones. (Shoo, shoo, mom and dad. Go be adults. We’ve got this.) It’s not easy to leave the first child. We parents can be rather like clinging vines. There were tears and adjustments, but once he settled in . . . and I could let go . . . he’d be good  . . . until he outgrew that Sabbath School room and needed to advance to the next classroom.

Oh, dear. We had managed to adjust to adult Sabbath School and enjoyed the lesson study, but we had been told that the following Sabbath was promotion Sabbath. Our little boy was ready to move on with other children, making room for the new little ones. We had learned the pattern and sat in anticipation in the back row where we could keep an eye on the lobby; watching for a little lost boy. We didn’t have long to wait. Here he came, those short legs taking long, determined strides. He knew where to go and he was heading back to familiar territory.  Bless his sweet, little heart. Daddy scooped him up and we loved on him and outdid ourselves in over-the-top excitement about him being big enough to have a new class. We could have tried out for Broadway.

When I recall stories like this one, it is a bit amusing and I can smile . . . before I choke on the memory. We had no idea that our son would grow up to be sad. So sad that he’d make a decision to end his life ~ almost ending ours. We dangled by a thread for a long time. Gradually God has grown new roots for us to be transplanted into a safe place where we can grow, share our grief with others who also have been transplanted and even flourish a little. Just a little. I think settling in to a new phase in life takes time, faith and much patience.

See, we all have been transplanted in one way or another. Whether we change jobs or move to a new location or become new parents or lose someone dear. Some transplant decisions are not chosen, but forced on us like I forced the change in my garden. The plants will either survive and thrive or die. Unlike them, we have hearts. We are like our Creator who made us in His image. He helps us along our journey, knowing we will experience many changes along the way. But when He returns and we at last arrive at our heavenly home surrounded by those we love perhaps the time we spent here on earth will soon fade into a distant memory, overshadowed by eternal bliss. This is worth longing for.

I am reminded of a sweet, old hymn, “I’m Homesick for Heaven“; the chorus comes to mind as I prepared this post. Any of you remember the tune? If so, you are welcome to hum or sing along. Here’s the chorus:

I’m homesick for heaven, seems I cannot wait,
Yearning to enter Zion’s pearly gate;
There never a heartache, never a care,
I long for my home over there.

by Henry de Fluiter

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