As I write this, we are something like two weeks into the Governor-ordered social distancing and
shelter-in-place guidelines in Colorado related to the Coronavirus. What a disorienting and anxious time
for many of us.
An added level of disorientation was already present in my life, as we’ve been out of our home for 8
months. A failed supply line to our master bath toilet in July, while we were away, led to 3 days of
flooding, as 40,000 gallons of water ran unimpeded through our house. In an interesting bit of timing,
the completion of the repair work on the house coincided almost exactly with the pandemic, and we
moved back in just as most every business was closing or moving to online. So, “staying home” took on
unusual meaning for us as we were finally able to go home, for the first time in months. Feelings of
being disoriented and displaced from the normal have been the rule for us for a while. And now that
we’re home and that displacement has ended, we are nevertheless displaced and disoriented from our
usual norm, due now to this virus.
Moses was an ancient figure well-accustomed to disorientation, displacement, and wandering. Born a
Hebrew, at birth he was displaced by his mother’s courageous act of sneaking him into Pharaoh’s
household. Never quite belonging to the Egyptians, when he became aware of the mistreatment of his
people by the Egyptian rulers, he lashed out and killed one, leading to many years of exile. Called by
Jehovah through a burning bush, he re-entered Egypt, eventually leading Israel out of exile but then into
40 years of further displacement before dying just before his people’s entry into the promised land.
Truly, he was Moses, the Displaced.
Where was his home?
This morning I was reading Psalm 90, the only psalm directly attributed to the pen of Moses. He opens
the psalm with this statement:
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.”Psalm 90:1
His home…. was God.
In fact, he testifies that God has been the dwelling place, the home, the refuge for His people for
generations. Not a new idea, and not just for Moses, the Displaced. What does that mean – for God to
be our home?
Years ago I read a wonderful little booklet entitled “My Heart, Christ’s Home” by Robert Munger. I think
it is a beautiful thought, and a compelling call to open all of our lives to Christ. But perhaps there is
another way to think about this. Moses might write a different booklet – “God, My Home.” And
perhaps the invitation is coming from God toward us. Wouldn’t this be characteristic of His mercy and
gentle pursuit of us, inviting us to shelter in place in Him?
Perhaps this time of disorientation is a special opportunity to experience God as our refuge, our dwelling
place, our place of orientation, our home. As I read this psalm, I quietly closed my eyes and softly
repeated, “Our dwelling place…. Our dwelling place.” While changing nothing about my (our) current circumstances, I did feel a sense of settledness, of peace, in the midst of the chaos. I felt my own heart
respond to the invitation to experience God as my home, my dwelling place.
Perhaps there is a rich offer in the midst of disorientation, an invitation to go and stay….home.