Sojourners–Dwelling in the Land

     My New Orleans friends F & P have lived through many a hurricane season, but August of 2005 was an exception.  After over 30 years, they have been accustomed to the weather warnings to evacuate the city as each new storm season descends.  They’ve got the routine down–grab their bikes, the dogs and their homeowners policy and get ready to move. But more often than not, the cautions prove to be a false alarm and people either never leave to begin with or come back 5 hours later.

This time F&P went through the drill when Katrina was on her way, taking the dogs, their bikes, camping gear, some extra clothes and not much else, and headed out on Interstate 10. First stop was nearby Mobile, Alabama, where they stayed overnight in a cabin with all their grown kids and grandchildren. Needing to get further away from the ferocious weather, they moved onto Maggie, South Carolina where they stayed with P’s mom.

Over the next 24 hours, the weather’s fury moved them farther and farther North, where they finally stopped at their son’s home in Pennsylvania.  Their 3 teenaged and grown children were moved out–one to an uncle in New York, middle son and wife to Virginia and the eldest teenage daughter stayed in Pittsburgh as F&P made their way back home.

Five days passed. Watching from the west coast where I live was torture; communication systems were completely gone and I had no way of knowing if they were even alive. TV coverage was on 24/7 and I sat in horror with the rest of the country viewing the carnage, loss of life and total destruction.

After the 5th day, I finally located my dear friends at a distant relative’s home.  I left a message to have them contact me; the day I came home from work to hear my friend P’s voice message on my phone, I broke down weeping. 

“We’re okay,” she said, “but I guess you could say we’re sojourners in a foreign land. 
I’m not sure where we’ll end up, but we’re okay.”


Psalm 119, v. 19 says, “I am a sojourner on the earth…” and in Leviticus God tells his people “…you are strangers and sojourners with me.”  We are with Him, with Him…..that is a comforting thought–in the midst of our travels He is with us. 
Psalm 84, v. 5 says He has set our hearts on pilgrimage, or as The Message Bible says, 
“How blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become the roads you travel.”

He supplies the map, places the markers we need along the way and graces us with rest and repair when we have come to the end.

Our lives are His road…now that gives me pause. 

Sojourners, foreigners, aliens.  We are merely tenants in God’s promised land, “guests like all our Fathers.” (Psalm 39:12. 

The land we’re traveling through is not our own–God is the landholder and overseer.  He is in charge of upkeep and responsible for the repairs–to us.  That is a comfort, too.  
Feeling broken, bruised, needy, missing a part? Our Heavenly Father is committed to care for us.

Comforting, too, is to know there is no fee to lease this land–the rent is free, the price has been paid.

Yes, how blessed are we that our lives become the road that He travels with us and in us.


illustration The Angelus (1857–59) by Jean-François Millet

3 thoughts on “Sojourners–Dwelling in the Land

  1. Jody,
    Welcome to the blogland! You have done a beautiful job with your place. Three Way Light is a lovely space. I like that you have your poems separate–sweet! So glad to be sojourning with you. 🙂


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