For many, daily life involves an excruciatingly long commute from home to work and back. The thought of being able to work from home or at least work closer to home would feel like such a relief, but we know it would take a miracle to accomplish it. This same dynamic is at play in our spiritual lives as well.
Many don’t even know they have a home, both now and one to come. They have no idea of the miracle that has already happened to make it possible for them to live and work “from home”. They feel an intense longing for relief of and for something they can’t even name.
Currently in the U.S., controversy is raging over a recently released movie called “The Shack”. Based on Paul Young’s 2007 book by the same title, it tells the story of a man who discovers he has a home to live in and work from. This home is God; Father-Son-Holy Spirit; The Trinity. Fuelling the controversy is the depiction of God the Father as both a black African American woman and later in the story as a strong male figure; the Son, Jesus is not surprisingly depicted as a Jewish man; and the Holy Spirit is a somewhat ethereal person best characterised as an Asian woman. Claims of “blasphemy” are circulating about this depiction of God. Yet, upon closer scrutiny, the claims of “blasphemy” actually reveal a sadly myopic view of the Triune God of Grace and an even sadder level of personal experience of fellowship within this circle of Divine Fellowship…otherwise known as Home.
The words of the following song were written by my wife in 1998, after we returned from living and working in the African Sahara. They echo the same cry for relief and the joy of discovery that the fictional character Mack finds in “The Shack”. May they encourage you with the same as you learn to live and work from Home.
Song for the Elder Brother
Out in the fields, working so hard.
Out in the fields, where has the joy gone?
So much to be done.
Out in the fields, doing “The Father’s Will”.
Out in the fields so many have questions.
But do I have answers?
If so many need to hear, and I am willing to go
If this is really obedience, why do I feel this way?
Why are you silent? Where is the fruit of your Spirit?
Where is your promised peace?
Where is the joy, the hope and the love?
All I sense is emptiness; don’t let me give in to bitterness.
And then your love broke through
And called me into your house,
Embraced me in my anger, and sorted a few things out.
“It’s not about the work. I’m doing it anyway.
It’s about us being together and learning to hear what I say.
Leave your work in the fields. Sit quietly with me.
Let me love you; enjoy you.
I’ve been longing for you to see
That this was my plan,
This is why I died.
This is how its been forever,
And you’ve been invited to dine.
Never leave my table,
For our fellowship is the glory I’ve promised,
It’s the treasure you seek.
Come, be loved my child”.