Monday, July 13, 2009

Coming Home

You know how they say you don’t appreciate something until you lose it?

With us losing our house, I have found myself thinking more and more about my impression of “home.”

“Home” is such a beautifully fluid concept. I mean, we’ve all heard that “a house is not a home.” In spite of that, many of us do think of our house as our home. Home can simply be where you go after work is done – which is usually your house.

Then there are those warm and welcoming places where we say we feel “at home.” One of my favorite sayings is “Home is where your mother is.” Perhaps the most evocative feeling of home is the recollection of where we spent our childhood years.

My own first official memory happened at four years old. I remember wading through the green and yellow shag carpeting in our tiny house, climbing onto the 70’s-era blue-green couch, and demanding Dad read the comics to me.

What do I remember about that moment?

The shag carpeting? The paisley couch? The confines of our small house? Nope.

I remember my squeal of joy as Dad lifted me onto his lap, cracked open the newspaper, and did funny voices for Lucy and Charlie Brown which sent me into gales of laughter. That’s what I remember.

That is what “home” will always mean to me. Unconditional love and acceptance.

As Christians, we have another perception of “home,” being encouraged to look toward Heaven as our final place of residence.

When my Aunt Kathy lay dying in her hospital bed, her brother, my Uncle Scott, led us in singing Amazing Grace. Afterwards, he talked about Aunt Kathy gathering her skirts around her (Aunt Kathy loved wearing skirts. She once told Mom that wearing skirts made her feel closer to God.) and wading across the river before stepping onto Heaven’s shore.

It was a beautiful mind picture, and I could almost see Aunt Kathy’s face breaking into that unforgettable smile and hearing her tremendous belly laugh as those gates rolled back to reveal her new Home.

I suppose I remember more about how I felt during Aunt Kathy’s passing that I do Dad’s. Dad was taken from us so suddenly that most of my reflection is on what happened to Mom and I immediately following his death.

However, I have no doubt that he stepped on those same shores and was welcomed into his Savior’s embrace with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Yesterday at church, we were singing an “old favorite.” I have sung this song as a child, and you probably have, too. However, this time, one of the secondary verses caught my eyes and touched my heart.

With all we are going through right now, not knowing where we are going to live, not knowing if we will have a tangible home to call our own, this simple stanza from Amazing Grace brought tears to my eyes -

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,

I have already come.
T'was Grace that brought me safe thus far,
And Grace will lead me home.

I was reminded, again, that I can trust God’s grace to provide an earthly place for us to call home.

But, even better, I know, in the end, that same Grace will also lead me Home.


Margaret said...

Chris and I continue to pray for you as God moves your home to a new location. It was great to see you yesterday!

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Oh, girl, PLEASE submit your "articles" for publishing. Please I will even give you a list of magazines that I think you shoudl try. Others need to read this, too...

Juliet said...

"When WE ALL get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be."

As day we shall all be together, FOREVER!!!

Great post.