Our Journey Home – Part 3

Erik Cooper —  February 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

Evil can show up in really unexpected places.

Last weekend we took my daughter to New York City to celebrate her 13th birthday. And while it’s not hard to imagine evil in dark underbelly of Gotham City, we stumbled onto it amidst upbeat show tunes and awe struck theater patrons.

We saw Wicked on Broadway.

(Spoiler Alert).

The “Untold Story of Oz” flips the old film completely on its head. Antagonists are protagonists. Heroes are villains. (And the talent leaves you speechless–stupid good). Ends up, the green witch that antagonized Dorothy and the people of Oz was, in reality, the moral heroine.

The villain was the Wizard.

In what seemed on the surface to be quirky and innocent, the Wizard of Oz was actually clamoring for control. Of circumstances. Outcomes. Conditions. But his greatest evil emerged from trying to manipulate perceptions. He would do anything to protect the grandeur of his false projection, including destroying anyone that might threaten to shed light on his charade.

Our insecurities aren’t cute. They can kill.

This is perhaps the greatest lesson we’ve learned on our journey home. We thought God wanted our geography. Turns out He wanted to crush the greatest propensity for evil lurking deep inside. Lies we believed about ourselves. Lies we believed about Him. Projections of a false self we felt obligated to live into.

They’re not quirky and innocent. They’re dangerous.

So where does that leave us on the house? Well, I really want to paint some epic ending to this story. Something worthy of a Scorsese screenplay (or at least an after school special). But the climactic resolution just seems kind of “normal.” And we’re kind of OK with that.

We have an accepted offer on a house just up the street from where we currently live. A house much like our current one (with a basement where we can banish the kids when they get too loud). A short-sale on a model home that’s been used by the builder for the last 6 years. Still some hoops to jump through, but the lights all look green.

“You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden…” (Genesis 2:16 NLT)

It’s nice. It’s us. And we feel God’s smile.

All along, we thought this journey was about sacrificing geography. Family. Space. Schools. Turns out God wanted to crucify something much more important: Our people-pleasing-God-as-a-sick-sadistic-Father-afraid-to-make-a-decision-false-projection.

Dead and buried.

Yet Jesus in us is more alive than ever. We’re getting comfortable in our own skin. Not with our sin, but with who God originally created and intended for us to be. Unashamed.

We found our way home, and it’s incredibly liberating. Have you?

2 responses to Our Journey Home – Part 3

  1. Erik – Jim and I can relate to the feeling that one must “give up” creature comfort to serve Him.

    We fought that mental and spiritual battle for the last several years and only recently have we really realized and believe that God is not requiring that of us.

    Given that Jim can work anywhere there is internet, and we homeschool and that we have a deep heart for orphans…We felt that we should move to Guatemala or Panama or SOMEWHERE and sacrifice ALOT to help cuz..well..we could.

    But God never opened doors. We were trying to push through them because, as you say, it FEELS like He would want as much as we could physically sacrifice (geography, good schooling, family, friends, “roots” of home..)

    But, instead, since we are so thick-headed…God brought a a business opportunity to us this past Fall that requires Jim to be in Indiana at least sometimes (smile). To us, this was confirmation that..we had been wrong – again.

    God wants us here. I am THRILLED about that. Does this mean we will not be a family impacting far areas? Absolutely not but it does mean that we are now priviledged to continue the outreach we’ve worked on (relationally) for years here in Greenwood, Indiana AND hop on a plane and work in the Guatemalan orphanage we are a part of…Or go visit Istanbul, Turkey and show our kids the ancient byzantine art and church history, etc.

    God is so kind. He knows exactly what He wants for us and would never hurt us. He wants us to expand our territories but that doesn’t have to mean a physical expansion. In Him we find our Hope and the path that we will continue walking on.

    Great thoughts Erik….your words helped remind me of the kindness of our God today.


    • Thank you Andrea. So many have shared their own journeys through making decisions and determining God’s will for their lives. It’s been quite encouraging for me, too. I’m always amazed God deals with us so kindly, never content to leave us where we are, but always guiding us to who He originally designed us to be.

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