Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thoughts on Nostalgia, Part 2

I left you hanging on a rather depressing note yesterday, so let me try to lift your spirits by pointing out the good thing about nostalgia.

It is true that for many of us, there is no longer a "home" in which to return.  The thing we long for most on earth no longer exists, or is altered so drastically that it no longer holds the comfort and safety we once associated with it.  But there is another Home, another place that beckons to the eternal nature of our being - where Deep cries out to deep - and whispers, "It will not always be thus..."  Hope rises in our spirit and begins to attach longing to this Home rather than the earthly home which was lost or destroyed.

I am speaking about heaven, of course.  But the question is, can one be nostalgic about something one has not seen or experienced?  I believe in this case the answer is yes, for all of the earthly longings - all the things of this world for which we feel nostalgia - are pale whispers of the realities of heaven.  They whet our appetites for what is more true and lasting than we could ever imagine.  In that sense we yearn for something we have smelled but not yet tasted.

And just to set the record straight - God does not offer us heaven in an attempt to make up for some sort of cosmic oversight on His part or to atone for what happened to us on earth.  God is Love and Love desires only that which is good (in the truest sense of the word). It is we who are responsible for this homeless wandering, we whose immortality is marred by the dust and sweat of sin and humanity, we whose folly creates loss, danger and instability.  It is because of us that a painful nostalgia exists, and God in His grace has redeemed even that to create a hopeful nostalgia in which we find our home with Him and never have to leave.


Dan Erickson said...

This is a great follow-up to yesterday's post, Annie. I feel my heart lift when I think about what's coming- how the pain now isn't wasted and the hope now isn't in vain.

Thank you!

krisnsean said...

This was exactly what I needed to hear today! I don't comment enough, but I so appreciate your authentic blog posts and your heart. I passed this along to someone else who also needed encouragement. Thanks for using your writing to bless others!