ferns and summer and rays of sunlight


wooded fern sceneSummer smells and sounds, summer colors and places and memories. Which, if you imagine your happiest summer moment, come to mind?

Do you dream of  a cool haven tucked away in the deep green of a wooded wonderland? Do you imagine a place where golden rays of sunlight dance across emerald fern fronds, and tree canopies sway in cool, whispering breezes?

Or does your dreamed-of summer moment happen with toes snuggled into warm, white sand? The roar of a turquoise ocean in front of you, blue sand beach photoa blazing hot sun lighting azure skies all around you, and the laughter of seagulls in your ears — your summer dreams happen through a sapphire-colored lens.

Cool or hot, emerald or azure: Have you ever wondered why you prefer shades of summer green and your friend longs for a place of heated blue? Why such distinct, and yet such different preferences?

What could God’s purpose be in giving us each a strong, yet disparate sense of pleasure at certain colors and smells and sounds? What good might He mean for us to glean from our arrival at a place of such happiness — at a moment when we feel complete in some intangible sort of way, where we experience such a strong stirring of emotion that we feel as if we’ve come “home?”

What if your love of blue, or your choice of green, occurs not without purpose or design? What if the yearning you feel for the perfect location and perfectly-happy moment is actually given as a pointer?

A pointer toward the Place you are meant to know.

Purpose in the yearning

For the breathtaking blues and exhilarating greens of this world pale in comparison to the views to come. And the yearning we feel for the perfect happy moment is longing with purpose — not that we would worship the summer moment itself — but that we would be pointed toward heaven.  C.S. Lewis wrote often of this longing:

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing … to find the place where all the beauty came from … my country, the place where I ought to have been born.  Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing?  The longing for home.” (C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces)

“You want to go home. The instinct for heaven is just that: homesickness, ancient as night, urgent as daybreak.  All your longings — for the place you grew up, for the taste of raspberry tarts that your mother once pulled hot from the oven … all these longings are a homesickness, a wanting in full what all these things only hint at, only prick you with.” (Mark Buchanan, Things Unseen)

Twisted and frustrated

We tend lots of times to get it twisted, though.  We worship the summer place itself. We forget truth and we believe, even momentarily, that we’ll be happy in our kingdom (whether blue or green) of summer comfort.  We worship the created, not the Creator.

We bow to the sign-post, forgetting that our longing is for the Place of Destination.

We satisfy ourselves with the road-stop along the way, and do not remember that our yearning cannot be satisfied, no matter how beautiful and pleasant, by the kingdom of this world.  Our longing is for home.

For the Christian, heaven is home.

And when we do seek from our summer moment what only God is meant to give, we become frustrated and envious. Confused and disoriented. And when disoriented, we seek to stuff our lives full of the pleasure of the perfect moment. Christian, you were meant for more than this!

Where all the beauty came from

So what are we to remember and what are we to do? We must thank our Father for the beauty of our summer moment, but determine to put the longing in it’s proper place! The yearning is for heaven, the Place meant to be my home. The longing is for relationship with my Lord, the Relationship of all relationships.

For as perfect as any sweet moment here might be — and as strong as the subsequent pull to re-create that “perfect” moment on earth —  the “homesickness” we feel for that moment is meant, rather, to point us Home.

Your longing is for the place, heaven, and person, Jesus, where all the beauty came from.

So, green or blue? Cool or hot?  Enjoy, but do not idolize, your choice. Each happy moment is a pointer and each longing is given as a hint, meant to guide us toward what we want in full.




About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and work as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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2 Responses to ferns and summer and rays of sunlight

  1. Pingback: an upside to summer’s end | Even More Beautiful

  2. Pingback: locks and gloves and the place made for you | Even More Beautiful

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