There are many things children can say that can tear your heart in two, I know this. I have said them, heard my brothers say them, and have heard the sad tales of woe from veteran moms gone before me. But I never expected to feel so gutted from a simple statement that Joshy made this past weekend. On Sunday night after spending all day with the doctor for some respiratory issues, Joshy came home, lay down on the couch, tearfully looked at me and said, “I just want to be back at our old home.” Oh, my heart! I did what I was supposed to do; sat with him, rubbed his back, and gently told him that this is home now.
But the past few days I have been reflecting on why that moment felt like such a punch in the stomach, why it made me nearly cry myself. And I realized on a long drive to work recently that it’s because I feel the same way. Though I’m not necessarily longing for a traditional two-story in Sammamish like Joshy is, his sentiments have made me realize that just below the surface of my soul I too have a deep longing for home.
If you know me, you know how I feel about home. I LOVE home. Love it. I love nothing more than when all my people are nicely tucked in, safe and cozy and warm under the same roof. I’m a firm believer that homes can be a sanctuary, a harbor of respite for weary souls. I also really like holiday decorations. Recently on a trip to Target, Mark grabbed my hand while walking by the home décor section, and let’s just say it wasn’t necessarily a display of affection as it was to veer me to the toothbrushes; our intended purpose for the trip.
In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visits the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Many of us know this story well, and for some of us verse 41 comes with a bit of a sting. As Mary sits with Jesus listening to all He has to say, eager just to be at his feet, Martha is bustling about, a woman with a holy purpose. But when Martha complains that Mary is not being helpful, Jesus replies,
"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42 NIV
I am thinking on this story a bit differently now. In my past I’ll admit, I have teased the “Marthas” in my life. To be so obsessed with cooking and cleaning that you would miss time with Jesus? Pity the fool! These past few days however, I’m realizing that I have developed the same struggle as Martha. I am trying to make a home. I am striving to unpack, clean, decorate, and hang window coverings. I’m finding the right storage places for our larger baking dishes and explaining to my children where their shoes should go. What I am seeing now for the first time is that while Martha was busy making a home, Mary was already there. Because for Mary, Jesus was home. And He continues to be our home today.
We trust Josh will adjust to his new life here in Woodinville, just as he has soldiered on and adjusted to other things like being a big brother, starting kindergarten, and using tissue instead of his sleeve. We do all have so many changes, adjustments, heartaches, and griefs. And though the world spins madly on, may we find comfort in the home of Jesus.