The twentieth century was the bloodiest century in history. Amid millions of lives lost to warfare and violent conflict, international homelessness reached its zenith. Ethnic and religious groups on the fringes of society, hated and destroyed by neighbors, did not merely live without four walls and a roof—they literally had no home. Home embodies a state of well-being to which many will never return.
Some of the displaced peoples even bear the marks of their nomadic past in their names. With a name that can be translated “wanderer,” the Csángó trace their ancestry back to the nomadic Asians of the Carpathian Mountains. Straddling the modern Romanian-Moldavian border, the Csángó; people have never known what it feels like to be “home.”
Many of us can relate to the wandering of the Csángó; people. While we may have the physical comforts of a house, we still experience an indefinable, heartsick longing for home. Even women who appear to lead the ideal life—a seemingly perfect family, a good job, honor and respect within the community—can suffer silently from feelings of alienation. It’s possible to feel displaced instead of secure in the arms of those we love. At the end of the day, lying in bed, one can be safely home and still feel profoundly lost.
In truth, we are all outsiders and wanderers according to God. Imagine what it would mean for a Csángó; woman, always the alien, to hear God’s promise through Zephaniah: “I will bring you home.” Now imagine the hopeful imagery of the joyous homecoming awaiting all of us. We may never experience what it’s like to find our home in an earthly sense. But then again, maybe that’s just as God intended. That homesick feeling reminds us that we’re not yet really home.
Whenever your heart swells with longings for security and rest, remember God’s promise to one day bring you safely home to his house, where he has prepared a room for you (see John 14:1–4).
Zephaniah describes home in terms of gathering the scattered. In what areas of your life do you feel scattered instead of grounded?
Why do you think women are vulnerable to feeling emotionally homeless?
How does the future promise of home affect your life today?
Zephaniah 3:19–20 “At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame. At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the LORD.