It’s true. Today I saw a whole flock of seagulls in the Target parking lot as I pulled away. Now I’m used to seeing large numbers of geese there and everywhere else in my city. We are overrun with geese. Have been for some time. They are large, loud and messy and they are everywhere I go. But seagulls? We are a land-locked, mid-western state. We do not have seagulls here. At least not until today. I had to look again to be sure I was seeing correctly.
Then it hit me. Could they be displaced migrants from hurricane Harvey? This is awfully far, but still . . . fact is stranger than fiction. My heart went out to the little guys. There is no salt water around here. There are no beaches, no ocean breezes. They must be experiencing culture shock. Come to think of it, they did look kind of dazed, just standing around on the newly black-topped parking lot in no particular formation, taking up lots of perfectly good parking spaces. The black top must feel so unfamiliar under their feet. I’m sure they much prefer the feel of the sand that they are accustomed to.
These feathered fugitives are aliens here. Perhaps the first of more to come. My heart goes out to them. They looked so bewildered, so uncomfortable in these surroundings which are strange to them. They are far from home, far from all that is familiar to them.
God gave a command to the Israelites regarding aliens. He said, ” And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” (Deut. 10:19) The Israelites knew what it felt like to live in a place that was not their true home. They longed to leave and eventually God brought them dramatically through the Red Sea, through forty years in the desert into their promised homeland.
I know something of what those seagulls must be feeling right now. It’s hard to get comfortable in a place that is not your home. It’s hard to be at peace when you know there is something more that awaits you, that you have not yet arrived at your final destination. You are restless because you are not yet home Philippians 3:20 reminds me why it is that I feel this way. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”
Like the seagulls in the paved parking lot, who were meant for sandy beaches; I too am far from home. I am an alien, but an alien with hope and a promise. My promise is in John 14:1-3, where Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me. 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.”
Home is both a place and a person. Someday, like the seagulls, I will fly away home.
sincerely, Grace Day