We have a quiet backyard, our own secret garden I called it when it first took my breath away a few months ago. This was nestled next door to our flat, empty, brown lot? This quiet haven filled with trees and rocks and stepping stones? And it could be ours? Our own secret garden?
It is a quiet backyard. We have filled it with a hammock, a clothesline, a firepit, chairs and a pedestal table. We are putting in raised beds for vegetables soon. I feel too lucky when I come from work, a mere one minute drive or five minute walk, and can hide out here where the birds chirp and I feel safe.
But to be truthful, we have a train running through our town, its whistle blaring in 15 minute increments. Our neighbors have their own little zoo brewing, made up mostly of barking dogs. And we live inside a triangle of traffic with three main highways bringing the DFWers home in every direction. So though I can imagine real quiet, what I really hear is incessant barking, constant traffic, and a jolting whistle.
I've been thinking about boundaries these past few weeks. Psalm 16 says that the boundaries have fallen for us in pleasant places and I cling to that some days. I'm surrounded by good gifts, this I know, but sometimes the path He's put me on feels anything but pleasant.
Sometimes my soul breathes deep and just asks to be home. Home home. Heaven. Safe and quiet, peace-filled and finished.
Because although the perimeters of my life have fallen in good, true, loving places, outside all it seems is chaos and noise. And that noise gets in my soul sometimes. It starts speaking lies and I feel claustrophobic. I begin to believe things about God, myself, and others that simply aren't true. I begin to feel that my safest and most secret places, the gardens I tend with my blood and tears, are being encroached on by deception and falsehood.
There is that steadiness that remains—that deep knowledge that behind these boundaries, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God, I am safe. Held. Comforted. Known. Loved. Secure.
But in my soul I'm still looking for a new country, a better one.
I'm not sure that that's so wrong.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:13-16