I am going somewhere to prepare a place for you.It hit me in a fresh way suddenly that while these places we love, these bricks and boards, will not last forever, like sacraments they point to an eternal reality. Our earthly shrines and homes are types and shadows of something even more real -- a heavenly place created for us, just for us -- prepared with care, love, intention. An eternal temple, a holy land, a homeland.
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. (Hebrews 13:14)Our hearts long for home because we were created for one. We were made for a place. In this life, it is one which reflects us, but even more, reflects God, and reminds us of what -- and who -- we love. One where we cooperate with the Spirit to create a kind of beauty and order. One where we can exhale and find little sabbaths amid the chaos of the world. An anticipation of a place reserved for an eternal Sabbath. Our homes, however small or simple, are types of heaven, of Our Father’s house. Instinctively we want them to be warm and welcoming. I think of all the times I’ve gone to the store for milk or batteries and found myself lingering over area rugs and throw pillows. There’s a reason I long for loveliness, even though some days it feels like I am losing a battle against clutter and crumbs. I was made from the beginning to dwell in a place of beauty, forever. We all were. And is it not a miracle that we have a God who pitches his own tent in our wilderness? Who, unwilling to leave us alone until that time when He will come again to take us to Himself, comes now to remain in the Tabernacle (literally, “dwelling place”)? He takes up residence in every Church and what’s more, in every soul. He makes in us His own kind of heaven? He desires to be with us, to the point of dwelling within us. It’s astonishing, really. My father’s house has many rooms. Our daughter asked for one thing for her eighth-grade graduation this spring. “Fix up my room,” she pleaded, poring over paint samples and Pottery Barn catalogs. We agreed that the small space she shares with her sister could use a face-lift. And so while we were gone visiting the places and people of my childhood, her father, in his great love for her, stayed behind, busy with brushes and rollers and cans of carefully chosen color. He prepared a place for her. A week later, he welcomed us home and led her to the door to her bedroom, where she saw what he’d done for her. Her face said it all: it was perfect, and it was hers. It was a glimmer of an eternal homecoming and a home which will never pass away.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Cor 5:1)
Copyright 2018 Claire Dwyer
About the Author
Claire Dwyer is a wife and mom of six. Her book, This Present Paradise, a spiritual journey with St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, is available from Sophia Institute Press. Claire currently works full time as Marketing Manager of the Avila Foundation and shares timeless wisdom for modern Catholic women at EvenTheSparrow.com. Connect with her there!