(I received the following from our Campus President)
Diane Falanga’s new book P.S. I Hate It Here! is a compilation of 150 humorous letters written by kids at summer camp. Here are a few excerpts:
- Dear Mom and Dad, I have a really, really, REALLY BAD ingrone toenail. It is killing me. When we get home get a doctors apointment PLEASE. Lots of love, Piper P.S. DON’T sign me up for next year!
- Dear Mom, Why haven’t you sent me a letter? Everyone else has gotten at least one but I haven’t. I am really worried. Who died? What happen? Is anithing wrong? WRITE BACK!! Love, Meredith
- Dear Dad, STOP telling me all the good things you guys are doing! Like the boat going to their house for dinner or the first block party! You made me very angry! Love, your mad daughter
- I’m still alive! Love, Stanton
- Dear Daddy, Ew! The food is yucky! I need you to send food to me. These are choices: doritos, mentos, oreos, soft chew cookies (not required), chips, hostess cake thingers. Please?!! This is how you wrap the food—in a box with wrapping paper, then put a card on top that says HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Then they won’t check for food. Love, Samantha
- One letter included a huge clump of hair with the note, “Dear Mom, guess what? Love Leslie.”
- Another letter from a girl named Olivia simply said, “Take me home Mommy. Take me home Daddy. Take me home Mommy. Take me home Daddy. Take me home Mommy. Take me home Daddy. Take me home Mommy. Take me home Daddy. Take me home Mommy. Take me home Daddy. Take me Mommy. Take me home Daddy. Take me home Mommy.”
Homesickness, of course, has a long Biblical history. For forty years in the wilderness, the people of Israel longed to enter the Promised Land. When they lived in the land, every Israelite’s heart stirred to go to Jerusalem, to their true home in the Lord’s Temple. In exile in faraway Babylon, God’s people ached to return to the land of their ancestors. Every believer in Christ yearns now for the final Promised Land, the new Jerusalem.
Our hearts ache to go to our true home, heaven, and to see the One we love face-to-face, and we cry out with the Psalmist, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God . . . What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises.” (Psalm 84:1-4, NLT)
On your difficult days—and there will be difficult days—you may feel like writing a letter to God saying, “I hate here.” It’s more than bad food and ingrown toenails—the prayer list below serves as a constant reminder that cancer, car wrecks, heartbreak and loss constantly afflict us. In the midst of this world’s pain, remember the good news: this place is not our home. This is temporary lodging. We are only here for a time, and one day our Father will arrive to take us where we really belong. What a day of rejoicing that will be! So hold on, and don’t give up. We’ll be home soon.
When this world beats us down, fill our eyes with a vision of heaven that will lift us up. Thank you for the wonderful promise of life forever with You in that heavenly City, and we pray that, even in the midst of hard times, we can “be joyful in hope” (Rom 12:12). We look forward to the day You take us home.