There are some things for which there is no single English word to describe it. An example is the ring of condensation left by a cold glass on a table. There’s an Italian word for that: culaccino. How about sunlight that filters through the trees? The Japanese have a word: komorebi. Maybe you scratch your head to help you remember when you have forgotten something. That’s panapo’o (Hawaiian).
After reading an article about such words, there was one that made me think about who we are in Christ. It’s the French word, depaysement, which means “the feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.” It can also mean disorientation, something that makes you feel like you just don’t belong. That’s how Scripture describes us as Christians.
Hebrews 11 says, “8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God… 13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”
We were formerly walking in darkness (John 8:12, Ephesians 5:8), but God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Like the Jews who God called out of Egypt, we have been called out of sin and into righteousness. Like our Lord, we are no longer of this world (John 15:19), for He has called us out of the world. Therefore, our home is not of this world; we are now strangers. As such, we should be experiencing “depaysement”, by faith, looking forward to the heavenly Jerusalem which God has built, a city with many mansions.
As a result, we should not be storing up treasures here on earth, where moth and rust destroy (Matthew 6:19), things which have no lasting value. Rather, we are to “20 store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The longer I’m on this earth, the more I seek the country God has prepared for us. He may take our life, or, He may call us up to Him in the rapture. That calls to mind another great word. It’s an Inuit word called iktsuarpok, which means “the feeling of anticipation that leads you to keep looking outside to see if anyone is coming.” Even so, come Lord Jesus.