Home Part 2
According to the all-knowing Google, nostalgia is defined as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Such poetic words for such an intense emotion. Have you ever been at a loss for words for the emotions that you were feeling? After having a great experience, I would find my mind wandering scrolling through my memories and feeling my heart miss that time. My Brazilian friend taught me a term that helps to describe this emotion. The term is Saudade. It is defined as a dreamy wistfulness. Where nostalgia is a missing of something in the past, saudade can define a longing of something that has never happened.
With that being said I want to ask you a question, what is the term for longing or missing something that you didn’t even know existed. Your imagination is unable to comprehend this place or state of being. Is it possible to have nostalgia or saudade for the future or something that your mind and heart have never experienced? How do we describe that desperate desire for something that is indescribable. What is it? Why does my heart and mind drift towards that unknown?
I’ve had these questions. I’ve had these emotions. A belief that there was something more than what I already knew, and hope that that something was more beautiful than I could describe. You understand this feeling too, don’t you? You’ve felt it before. You’ve been there--whether you were in nature or sitting in your room, with tears in your eyes and clasping your chest not knowing why you missed this… thing, but knowing that you did.
In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul talks about the visible and the invisible. I remember working at summer camp thrilled to be surrounded by all my friends and surrounded with inexpressible joy but a slight sadness in the back of my mind. That sadness coming from the knowledge that one day this was going end, and dealing with that end was slightly unbearable so I would continue to push that in the back of my head. Everything here on earth comes to an end. All the visible things are temporary. With every freshman year is a senior year; with every sunrise there is a sunset, and with every hello there is a goodbye. And then that’s it, the end of an era. I’m here to tell you that despite this sad reality there is a joyful truth. Even though the visible is temporary the invisible is eternal. That longing in the deepest crevice of your soul… the one that hopes for no goodbyes and hopes for eternal hellos exists. I’m here to tell you that never-ending joy is achievable and it’s even easier than you think.
So what is it? What is that thing? It’s home. It’s rest,..joy...belonging… it is a place and a person. What your heart craves can be found in Revelation 21:4. It is there that we read about that beautiful promise that gives us comfort. A place that is almost unimaginable, no more tears no more ache, no more pain, no more goodbyes. All things that make us sad vanished forever. Fortunately, that’s not all that promised. In the verse just before we read the most beautiful promise ever given, it is that Jesus will be there with us, Jesus our Home.
The origin of the word nostalgia comes from the Greek nostos. The definition of nostalgia means homesickness, but in the original Greek you can find that the meaning of the word was homecoming. Think about that. Homecoming. A return. Dear Friend, we are almost there, almost returning to where we were always meant to be. Keep the faith, keep hope, we are almost Home.
Chantal Williams recently graduated from Andrews University as a doctor of physical therapy, and has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2011.