I remember some years back, our dynamics at home was interrupted by a visitor, I’d like to call Ms. V. Ms. V suddenly barged in on my sisters’ room while they were still sleeping. She suddenly took down most of the things in cabinet there – most of them were actually hers. She then went to the kitchen, took some bread on the table and fixed a cup of coffee.
All of these as most of us were still waking up.
I guess it didn’t end there.
Ms. V had a say about everything in our house to my mother’s horror and dismay. She criticized us at how the floor should be cleaned. She wanted it scrubbed white when our floor was varnished brown. Then, she criticized how our meals were prepared, how I combed my hair, how my sister dresses and where we placed our trash. She even had something to say on what TV show to watch and, to my ire, what books I should read. She even went so far as to firmly suggest to my father that he should get most of MY books burned.
We had to endure her intrusion into our lives for two weeks. Then one day, she announced that she would be staying with her sister. We almost leaped for joy. Our relief was so much that my mom cooked spaghetti and we partied when she left.
I hope she visit you next.
As of this writing I am also a visitor.
For my birthday this year, I decided to go on a vacation. I decided to visit a good friend and check out what the other side of the Philippines looked like.
My friend and their family opened up their house for me. I am staying here over the weekend. I had nothing but thanks to this family who already adjusted their routines and cuisine to accommodate an almost vegetarian visitor. I know that is already annoying to most people so I have nothing but thanks, and gratitude for their utmost hospitality.
As always I try be at my best behavior whenever I am at someone else’s home. I choose my words so as not to appear critical of what’s going on in their house. I also try my best to act friendly and be friendly to the other people in the household. I try to bare with some of their peculiar habits if any. I also try my best to help out if there is something to be done in their house as a way of repaying their kindness. In short, I adjust more so they don’t have to make a fuss about me.
I guess that is how a visitor should really be.
So would you have me in your house next?
Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
(Hebrews 11:14-16 NLT)
A long time ago, there were people of different times and ages who realized that they were simply visitors. People whose names we are more or less familiar with: Moses, Abraham, Abel, Jacob among others. They are men and women who are pretty much flawed but are driven with the understanding that this world is not their home. They were born and raised with the understanding that there is another man who is also God who would be their ticket home. Even the Man’s arrival didn’t happen on their lifetime, they still kept the faith and remained true to what God has told them to do.
In the same manner, as Christians, we should also not be surprised at what is happening in this world. We are after all visitors. If the world decides to do thus, we have to remember that as visitors we have no right to criticize the peculiar things that they do. Instead, we have to push forward in refining our faith and hope in the coming of the Savior that we have all been waiting for. Let us not be troubled by the events happening but rather be full of hope because these events are the indications of the coming of Christ. We are visitors, but we are almost home.
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
(1 Peter 2:11-17 ESV)