I was born with a borrowed homesickness for Tennessee bottomland where my daddy grew up. We never stopped piling into a station wagon and winding the long way there from Alabama for weekends of lap-sitting, early biscuits, percolated coffee, and that iron-rich dirt dotted with arrowheads. It was home to my daddy, where he had been a little boy and where he had known his daddy, and it was comforting to me to see him fit so well.
So is it any wonder, then, that I constantly battle a fit problem myself, always longing for the comfort of home? I moved from Alabama to Arkansas, and I do love it here, but it doesn’t fit, and then, always, the chilly edge of autumn undoes me.
An excited snap of wind rubbing at the leaves cuts at the sun’s heat and makes me crave Alabama. I’ll wake one morning, uneasy, feeling change and wanting a heavier blanket, suddenly overwhelmed for home. I rise slinging what I can into bags, I load up the boys, and I drive with my hand cupping at the air.
I wide-open sing. I stop in Memphis for the smell, imagine mama waiting to greet us on the porch. I gather speed to climb the mountain, slow to admire change, straddle potholes in the driveway, and I’m home. Van door slung open, boys unleashed, I rush to my daddy’s chest, shrinking small at the sound of his heart, the little girl in me recognized, pampered, and invited.
And though it is very good, it’s not long until I realize, as my daddy did, that no state here befits me. And though I also miss my husband and our home, his cooking, his guitar hands, and the sound of the beat in his chest, I’m realizing that I was really born into homesickness for the heart of God.
So I go there, as best I can in this people skin, to what is at His heart—to the God whose throne sits on my own heart, and I ask what keeps me from craving the comfort He offers. Why do I not call my heart His home and run to Him who is within me, right where I am?
And I know the answer immediately. Sometimes I don’t believe I can be “sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things” (2 Corinthians 6:10). What the Spirit calls comfort is not what I call it, my giving my all, my whole complete self,
and I don’t give my all because those who are at His heart are the poor, the ones standing outside our gates: the ones two doors down who can’t pay their bills; the ones fly-faced on commercials; the ones rocking alone in a nursing home or on the street with a paper-bagged bottle; the ones begging for milk in my own kitchen.
Where I am serving the God of the Universe in His Greatness, where I am giving Him my all, neck-deep in the incomprehensibly dirty, it is there I am overwhelmed with the tastes and sounds of home. And there, at His heart, is my only fit. In my realizing my own lowly position within my Royal heart-home, I realize contentment, how I’m the very apple of my Daddy’s eye.