A Word from Canon Hicks in the January 14, 2018 Adventurer
I heard on a podcast recently an interview with author Will Dowd, who recounted the physical hardship he fell into beginning in his teen years. From as early as he could remember, Dowd loved reading. He said, “You know how humans are described as water-based creatures? Well, I always felt like an ink-based creature. I loved books. All I wanted to do as a kid was read, and that’s all I did.” Then, beginning in Dowd’s teen years he slowly developed a form of visual impairment that didn’t allow him to read or look at a computer screen for too long. In reflecting on what it’s like to live with this permanent handicap, he used three simple words: “I feel homesick.”
There’s something very deep captured in Dowd’s words here, and I find them resonating with my own life as a Christian on this side of “home.” Things just simply aren’t right, and the older I get the more I find myself yearning, aching for when they will be.
When Jesus came into the world, one of the ailments he willfully chose to receive was our homesickness. We hear him ache and groan with us in his prayers: “thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10); “glorify me in your own presence” (John 17:5). We hear his homesickness in his weeping over the sickness and death of his friend, Lazarus (John 11:33-35).
When we go with him to the cross, then, we recognize that his purpose there was to forge for us a homeward path. The cross has given great meaning to our longing because it takes us to the end of our homesickness, where who we were made to be (people in communion with God) and what we were made to do (glorify him and love our neighbor) find their forever satisfaction.