|Photo by pollyscards|
Selling a house is not easy, even when it is the right thing to do. My initial meeting with my real estate agent was in October, and the house went on the market officially in November. It was about three weeks later when I walked out my front door and saw the “For Sale” sign on my front lawn.
And I cried. I wasn’t crying happy tears. No, I was crying the hot, fat wet tears that form rivers on your cheeks, threatening to suffocate you until you finally allow yourself to feel, and you cry some more because what you are feeling is worthy of the tears. Even though I knew for some time that I would see the sign, and even though I knew that in the long run the sale would be a good thing for me, nothing could prepare me for how I would feel when I was faced with the evidence that I would soon have to surrender my house keys to a stranger and leave the place I called home for the past several years. I think I cried for nearly an hour that day.
Today my realtor called to let me know there is a potential buyer who wants to submit an offer on the house. This means that the house could go into escrow as early as next week. In a real estate agent’s world, that is great news. In Mary’s world, there was mixed emotions. I held back the hot, wet, fat river tears until the phone conversation ended. I was faced with more evidence that I will no longer call Cerritos Ave. home. But this time the tears lasted all of about three minutes. I started thinking about what the next home would be like. What would the floor plan be like? Would it be one story, or two? What features will be there? What kind of furniture? Carpet? Window treatments? Would I have neighbors from hell (like Mr. Goober) again? It brought me comfort to think of what my future could be like (even the part about the Goobers).
Someday I will have to leave my home on earth. It’s a thing called “death.” We all will have to face it for ourselves, and we will have to face the death of a loved one at some point. Even though we all know death is coming, for some there is no way to prepare ourselves for how we will react. There will be the hot, wet, fat river tears threatening suffocation. The tears will last for quite some time; they may seem to last forever.
There is comfort though. Even though there is an unavoidable surrender of our lives on earth, there is another home waiting for us. The Bible speaks often of our eternal relocation. Jesus speaks to his disciples of our new dwelling place that awaits us: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:1, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” And the apostle John does his best to share with us his first-hand glimpse of heaven in Revelation 21-22. But John's description cannot adequately describe our new home because “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Emotions may overcome us when we face death. The emotions are what let us know we are alive. But for those who believe, the tears will not last for eternity, for once we enter our new home Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes.