Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Dad's house

"Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

The words rung in my ears and in my heart, although I had hear them many times before. Read in St. Michael's Church on Kauai, I was stung by this powerful and terrifying directive from God. The promises that follow are wonderful but leaving my parent's land and my father's house brought tears to my eyes. I had to get it together to preach, but those words have rattled around all day as I have ventured with new friends and people who were sharing the intimacies of their lives with me, so far from my home.

I am not delusional, I don't for a moment think I am Abrahm. I know this was an historical promise, and that it is both contained in a time and a culture. But I also believe that the scripture is a deep treasure, always providing connection with ancient people who teach me their wisdom and turn my perceptions around to God. My father's house - that wonderful federal style farmhouse, dating back to the 1820's, white clapboard, a block from the Atlantic Ocean. My Dad and Mom bought the house before I was born, we spent every summer and holiday there and my parents retired there. My Dad passed away in 1994 and my mother at 85, still lives in the house. It is a place where I feel known and loved, and where I know the geography in the dark and generations of people. That home is permeated with my Dad, a gentle giant, faithful pastor, great father and the house rings with his laughter and booming voice still. And yet today I heard God's call to leave my father's house.

I have no good words or insights for what to do with that. The last thing I want to do is pack up and move, leave the familiar, especially in these times of great upheaval. I miss my Dad alot these days since it was he I called when I needed real advice. I miss his ability to cut to the chase and tell it like it is. So, all that I can do is pray for direction. God promises to show us the land and make us a blessing. So for tonight, that's what I am going to do - pray for God to act as GPS to my wandering soul, and as a balm to my body which aches to be home.

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