April 2, 2021

It’s All Good / Patti Lamb

As Easter people, our ‘forever’ home is with the Lord

Patti LambRecently, we sold our home of 15 years rather unexpectedly—when it wasn’t listed on the market. We were extremely grateful for this blessing because we had actively been planning to downsize. (That last sentence is a bit of an understatement.) However, the new owners wanted to take possession as soon as possible, as the mother was to give birth within weeks, and the father was scheduled for deployment.

Houses were going before we could even request showings, and we had to act quickly. We ended up going with a spec home, which was already under construction and would be ready just in time for the new school year. Unfortunately, the construction process was riddled with errors, resulting in stress and disappointment on our end.

The night before the closing, our realtor said that she was sorry about our experience, since it is always her goal to help her clients find their “forever homes.”

“And this probably isn’t your ‘forever home,’ is it?” she asked over the phone.

“No,” I stated. Our conversation was brief since she was on her way to another appointment. These past few weeks, however, my mind has circled back to that conversation and I thought about her question on a much higher level.

Fast forward to today. We’re living in troubled times. I try to avoid the news because the majority of it is disturbing to me. When I do glance at headlines, I see stories of scandal, deceit, slander, senseless violence and judgment. Bold headlines, often contradictory depending on your media source, deliver very little good news.

Factor in social media, where we’re invited to “follow” movie stars, rock stars, politicians, athletes and influencers. To me, it feels like we’re being set up to worship false idols. Ostentatious performances permeate primetime television.

The other day, I heard something so bizarre in the news that I had to ask my husband if I dreamed it. When he confirmed I wasn’t dreaming, I told him that I’m starting to feel like an alien on this planet.

I took a walk to clear my head and get away from screen time. That was the first time in a while when I just started talking to God—out loud. I can’t remember the last time I talked to him openly and honestly, like I talk to my sisters or my girlfriends.

“This world is scaring me, God,” I said. I walked and talked for a long spell. By the time I returned home, I felt better, not because our world isn’t frightening, but because I remembered that this is not our forever home.

St. Ignatius of Loyola once said, “How insignificant Earth seems to me when I consider heaven.”

Soon, we’ll have the opportunity as Catholics to celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death at Easter Mass. Through his biggest act of love, working through his willing, beloved son, God redeemed humanity.

All my life, I’ve feared death and I’ve been uncomfortable talking about dying. Since the night I was physically present when my dad went to be with God, my thoughts have changed a bit. That night, I saw death as a transition to dad’s forever home. As sad as it was to let go of his physical presence, I can feel his presence in my heart. My mom and my siblings can, too. We are certain he is with God.

We are Easter people, and our forever home is with the Lord. Easter is our annual reminder to never lose hope.

(Patti Lamb, a member of St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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