Chaplain’s Chat Rev. Dun Gordy
No Continuing City?
That day came when Mother and Daddy could no longer care for that beautiful house in Columbus, GA. It was a heart-rending day that I remember all too well. That structure of bricks and mortar, shingles and cement held more than kitchens and closets, bedrooms and bath. It held many precious memories for me.
Leaving it was hard for me. But my sorrow was nothing compared with the anguish that gripped my Daddy’s very soul. He realized that when we drove out of that yard that he was leaving more than a house. He was leaving a big piece of himself. He and Mother had dreamed of it, designed and built that dwelling over 30 years previously.
And even more agonizing to Daddy was the fact that leaving this house was somewhat emblematic of leaving his very life. He was leaving the life of independent living he had known since he and Mother married almost 50 years before. He was leaving the lodging of a lifestyle. It was more than a clichéd “comfort zone”, more than an edifice, a structure, a building. It was a sanctuary of security from the world of his business. It was a place of rest and refreshment from his labors. It was a home in every sense of the word.
We loaded the last of their possessions in my car but I was too blinded by tears to drive. Mother, Daddy and I just sat there in the yard and wept. And then I got my Bible and turned to the only passage that I could think of for comfort. I turned to Hebrews 13:14 and read “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
And I read it out loud again: “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one….” And I stopped there without finishing the verse. As well as my parents and I knew “that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” we were still grieving over this earthly house that was no longer ours to live in.
So why were we sorrowful? Why the grief? I may be taking it out of context but the truth is there. Even though we have nothing continuing in this material world, the desire of every human soul is for some place of permanence, some place of enduring security. We DO still “seek one…” We need something secure in the midst of a fast paced, ever changing world.
Those of us who have Christ have that. The hymn writer declared it beautifully in words of great comfort and security:
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;”
And the wonderful thing is that this security is not a just a “pie in the sky” promise. It is the present comfort and assurance.