Friday, November 21, 2008

Pilgrims

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar...
Blessed are those who dwell in your house...
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage...
They go from strength to strength...

Tuesday is a big day. Our good friends here in Fort Worth close on their home Tuesday, with no new house to call home. They are packing their belongings and filling cardboard boxes, all the while not knowing where - in just a few short days - those cardboard boxes will land. Their young children dance around the empty, echo-filled rooms with great expectation, while Mommy and Daddy assure them the Lord has a perfect new home - somewhere - and meanwhile keep an eye out for a ram in the bushes.

Another friend will be moving Tuesday as well. But instead of moving his family and furnishings to a new home, he will hug his wife and children good-bye two days before Thanksgiving and exit his court hearing, handcuffed, to his new home behind bars. Tuesday will simply determine where and for how long. Corbin will be by his side.

Psalm 84 describes the plight of the pilgrim - a soul yearning - even fainting for the courts of the Lord, for the living God. The description of going from strength to strength, having set their hearts on pilgrimage...

This Scripture is not relegated to shepherds in fields before the time of Christ. It speaks of these two families, facing change and uncertainty and trusting God with their very shelter. It speaks, too, of people and families all across our country who cry out to God, this day, November 21, 2008. For those losing homes in foreclosure with the economy... for mothers trading their cozy kitchens and holiday baking for needles and chemo in sterile clinics...for soldiers in dusty tents separated from parents and spouses and children and friends as the holidays approach... it speaks of the brave Pilgrims we celebrate next week, who faced change and uncertainty and fear head on, going from strength to strength.

Father, we do trust you, and we pray for our friends and loved ones in seasons of pilgrimage right now. Blessed is the man who trusts in you, O Lord Almighty.