To the Ends of the House

On Going Where We’re Staying

Juliette Alvey / 3.30.20

“Ends of the Earth”

I think about traveling
To the ends of the earth
Across a sea,
To another state,
Or at least to a different city

To share your love
Your redemption story
Isn’t that what you desire from me?

Before I pack my bags to leave
In search of excitement and glory
You gently end the daydream
And direct my eyes
To my newborn baby

The ends of the earth
Begin right here
At the breakfast table this morning

I wrote this poem 9 years ago and have never shared it with anyone. It is as if it had been waiting in my file for this precise morning. Because whether you have a newborn or not, today, for most people, “the ends of the earth” truly do begin at your breakfast table and go no further. This is challenging for people like my husband and me, who sometimes suffer from wanderlust and enjoy the thrill of experiencing a new place. Jesus even says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matt. 28:19) We are supposed to go! So all of this staying feels counter to God’s mission of sharing his good news with the world. But the thing about God’s mission is that it is God’s, not ours. We don’t know what He will accomplish through all of this staying home, but He works in mysterious ways.

Since that morning 9 years ago when I was fighting the urge to run out the door and do something “exciting,” there have been seasons of going and seasons of staying, and all of it was used by God, even when it did not make sense to me. This may feel like one of those times when we are waiting and waiting and waiting until we can finally go do something useful again. But there is no such thing as wasted time with God. Even the apostle Paul’s time in prison was not wasted (I am not comparing our homes to prison, but I’m sure for some it does not feel too far off). In the book Godspeed: Making Christ’s Mission Your Own, Britt Merrick says, “Wherever you are now, wherever you spend the majority of your time–that is your mission field. This is what it means to recapture our sense of sent-ness. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing–you were sent there.”

God be with you this day as you carry out his mission wherever you go, or stay.

Also from about 9 years ago:

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4 responses to “To the Ends of the House”

  1. Jt says:

    Good reminder! Btw….every day, I keep reminding myself, “Paul wrote Phillippians, The Joy Letter…from prison”

  2. Pamela Shea says:

    Another outstanding article, Juliette. Our current situation is a bit like childbirth; lots of waiting, pain when in the throes of delivery, but joy beyond measure once the “ordeal” is over. I trust God that we will come out of this stronger, with new ways of operating in our world that are more respectful of each other as well as nature.

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