The phone call came on a Tuesday morning, just as my family was yawning awake to face another busy day. Not at all unexpected, but unwilling to verbalize what was reality, my dad simply said, "Well, you know why I've called." And I did. My grandfather's victory was won: he was finally free of a body imprisoned by pain.
I set about my day making plans for leaving my home getting my children's school work squared away, church obligations taken care of, and substitute plans in place for my absence. My husband performed the same juggling act for his work. The next morning we packed up here, my "grown-up home" where I have a family and a job and a mortgage and friends and church family and church obligations and headed to my childhood home. We left West Texas, with its scrubby mesquite trees and arid climate and drove to my childhood home, the claustrophobic embracing trees of North Louisiana with its oppressive humidity and heat. We gathered to celebrate the life earthly and eternal of my grandfather, a crucial part of my heritage of faith.
The morning we left Louisiana, I took a walk as the rest of the world came awake. I watched the sun rise over the bayou and cherished this place, my home the place that knows my people, my kin, the place that knows from whence I came, the place that has known me and loved me from the beginning. It is so comfortable here. Here I feel so much "at home" ... but not quite.
My thoughts turned to my "grown-up home," where I would be going later that day the place where my friends surround me and love me in spite of my weaknesses, the place where I raise my family and serve the Lord in His church. So much "at home" ... but not quite.
Then I thought of my grandfather. He was finally home. He was where I long to be. The world says, "You can never go home again." Scripture says, "I am going to prepare a place for you" (John 14:1-3). We haven't even been home yet! The world says, "Home is where the heart is." Scripture says, "Set your mind on things above" (Colossians 3:1-4).
Our heavenly home knows from whence we came:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb (Psalm 139:13).
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:15-16).
Our heavenly home also loves us in spite of our weaknesses. Better yet, "My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Paul reminded the Philippians of our citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20-21). Each time a precious saint of this earth passes into heaven, I am reminded again that this earthly house and body that I am blessed with are only meant to be temporary shelter, not a permanent dwelling (2 Corinthians 5:1-10).
Lord, don't let the attractions of this world block the beauty of my eternal home. Remind me daily of the things of You that are truly important and lead me to recognize the things of this world that are simply burdensome distractions. Put on my heart a longing for my Home.