Living in Exile

Posted by admin in June 1st, 2009
Published in Heaven

“With a name like Teresa McCarthy we just assumed you were Irish,” the voice from Limerick on the other end of the phone sounded so sweet.

I AM Irish! In my heart anyway—kind of like the way I’m blond. I think Irish. I feel Irish. I dream Irish. I love all things Irish. Doesn’t that make me Irish?

Two years ago I applied to teach at a university in Ireland and was thrilled to hear I got the job! I had a phone conversation with the director of the program just to touch base and ask her about some of the details. As we were talking she mentioned that she needed my Irish or EU passport information. I don’t have an Irish or EU passport, I explained. Well, you’ll need to get one she said a little exasperated with me. I asked her how do I do that? “Well love, aren’t you Irish?” she asked. “Uh…no,” I answered. “Do I need to be?”

“Yes! We can’t hire Americans to come and teach English in Ireland! The government would never allow that. Don’t you have an Irish grandparent or some relative still living here that can help you make application? You only need to be a quarter Irish to get a passport!”

“No,” I answered. “I’m not Irish at all.”

“Well bloody hell,” she said exasperated. “I thought with a name like Teresa McCarthy you just HAD to be Irish.”

How do you explain to a frustrated university bureaucrat that you’re Irish in your heart? Doesn’t that count for anything? I love the Cliffs of Moher in wind and rain and cloudy skies. I love the Georgian doorways of Dublin even in May’s 36 degree weather. I belong to County Cork and the Blarney Stone. Every ancient ruin, every painted sheep, every fat cow lying in the lush green pasture belongs to me! It’s mine I tell you! I AM IRISH!

It’s a bit frustrating to long for a place so earnestly and not be able to live there. To believe you are a citizen of a country and yet live in exile. I guess that’s kind of the way Christians should think and feel about heaven. Isn’t it? To long for our REAL home, to ache with a strong sense of homesickness? When I was a kid we sang old-fashioned, now outdated, gospel songs and hymns about heaven. We weren’t wealthy then. A war was raging that didn’t make sense to any of us, there was a real and present danger of an enemy across the ocean that wanted us destroyed, our President was shot and killed, there was civil unrest and I guess all those things made us long for home…our real home…The place we called “The City Where the Lamb is the Light”. We sang songs with words like “Oh Lord You know I have no Friend like you. If heaven weren’t my home, oh Lord what would I do? The Angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

Jesus told us that this world isn’t our home and that we aren’t to have affections that tie us to this temporary, non-eternal planet called earth. We are to set our eyes toward heaven and long for the day when we walk on the streets of gold. John’s Revelation of heaven (chapter 21) describes a pretty neat place. A peaceful and beautiful place. A place that makes Ireland look like a dump. Hard to imagine. So, I may never get to live in Ireland. I may never become a citizen of that lovely Emerald Isle, but I do thank Jesus with my whole heart that one day I will get to be with Him in heaven…my really real home and I am satisfied with the thought that one day He will allow me to lay down in green pastures beside the still waters and I’ll not want for anything ever again. Peace.

3 users Responded In This Post

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127. jamie said,
June 1st, 2009 at 10:01 pm

missed reading your thoughts sista! Glad your back! I agree. Like I do with most of these beautiful posts. Love u.

128. margaret said,
June 2nd, 2009 at 7:31 am

I long for home too! I am reading Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. It is a temendous read!
Since I am pure Scottish, I am drawn to the “bonne bonne banks of Loch Lomond!”


129. Terry Mitchell said,
June 2nd, 2009 at 9:19 am

Thank you for creating a longing for a place called home.

Happy Birthday–Since the wishes are late, you gain the advantage of a longer celebration.


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