I couldn’t sleep last night, and found myself (foolishly) doomscrolling. Something Shane Claiborne posted niggled at my soul:
Our faith is not just a ticket in to heaven and a license to ignore the world we live in. We have promised people life after death, when many people are asking if there is life before death. This is not just about going to heaven when we die. It’s about bringing heaven to earth.
— Shane Claiborne (@ShaneClaiborne) June 20, 2020
It lined up perfectly with the text immediately presented to me in the book of Hebrews.
In a manner that is unusual for me, all that thought and emotion suddenly formed into a poem in my brain. At 2am.
There is a homeland that I’m searching for.
Not hallowed ancient ground or some distant shore,
But here, so present here, stained feet red raw.
With the pace by which I seek this place
Confused disrupted noise misleads my way.
My thoughts alone enough hindrance to decay.
A life, misspent, or – doubt screams – “Mislaid!”
Hope alone can ease this heaving chest.
Opportunity to return? I don’t desire home;
For good enough is not good enough.
The painful road threads by not received promise.
Disappointed or greeted from afar?
Spirit grant that feet and heart contend,
To step boldly into better country.
Desire instead be of the not ashamed.
By those exiled hands and bleeding soles,
Our city is prepared.
(I’ve included the Hebrews passage below, with relevant words highlighted).
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.