Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. We are not far from home–a moment will bring us there.
(Morning & Evening ~ Spurgeon)
I love the image that is conjured in my mind when I consider Spurgeon’s description of death being our return from exile. I strongly identify with being in exile because that’s what I so often feel like as a resident of O town ~ exiled from the larger world, from so many friends and family. And yet, these feelings perhaps are not too far from true if I view them in perspective of eternity.
If I believe that I am a created in the image of the Living God, then while I exist in this world He created for us to inhabit, it only makes sense that I feel like I am living in it as a foreigner; this world is not my home! While I clearly delight in the natural beauty of His creation, my heart tells me that there is so much more to life than what I experience through my senses. This world is not my final destination! I was created and designed to live in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the only possible explanation that makes sense to my heart; this can be the only explanation as to why everything here on Earth feels so other worldly. So while I live on Earth I live as one with dual citizenship. A resident of Earth, but a native of the Kingdom of Heaven. This world is not my home!
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:2-4 NIV
So as Spurgeon notes, “we are not far from home — a moment will bring us there”, my dual citizenship allows me great privilege indeed. I may access the Kingdom of Heaven while living in the Kingdom of Earth when I practice the native tongue of my homeland: LOVE. So then, I am indeed something like an Ambassador…a representative of the homeland, and as such I live closest to my homeland when I live in LOVE during my exile. And while I simultaneously straddle today and eternity, I find comfort and joy knowing that my days in exile are not so long as to make me forget from whence I came. Because, in a moment, in the not too distant future, I will close my eyes and awaken again…no longer an exile.