The longing for home has inspired many a poem, songs, essays and quotes. Home has different many meanings to different people. The commonality is the foundational thinking of everyone – a longing for belonging. A place to be who we are with no pretense.
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. Maya Angelo
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. Robert Frost
Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door. Charles Dickens.
Home is where I learned about life and that my ‘best friends’ were family – life- time friends. When I was a teen, after a phone conversation, my mother asked me a question…Why are you so nice to your friends instead of your family who will always be your closest friends?
The memories of being at home through the years have become more and more precious. Even the houses we lived in fill me with nostalgia, remembering the joys and heartaches – the housing of family living together.
Leaving home for college soon brought a longing for home. Leaving home as a bride filled me with joy. Youth creates a sense of adventure with each move to a new home. From home to Piedmont to Joplin to Howard to New Harmony to Minneola to Hinton to Dodge City to Collinsville to Rogers we moved. Along the way our four children – and their children – joined us, bringing us much joy.
We learned that it wasn’t so much the house we lived in, we carried our home in our hearts – in each other. Ed and I grew older – who knew that we would soon carry the burden of 80 plus years when we began this journey. All too soon we did not want change and moving. We are content to stay within the walls of our home., the security of loving each other and serving our Lord.
When Mother moved to Rogers, she left her home after42 years. As she walked through her home in Watonga for the last time, the walls spoke to her of laughter, serving countless meals, friends, grandchildren’s visits, sickness, tears, the death of her spouse, music, Bible Studies and all the things that makes a house a home. Off to a new adventure, leaving the known for the unknown. However, an adventure is less of an adventure when it becomes a necessity and not a choice.
I remember…..when the children were toddlers and unpacked the boxes as fast as I packed them (Minneola)…when I packed the white sugar and brown sugar in cream of wheat didn’t taste right to our four children (New Harmony)…when the mystery of the items in Ed’s basement work area had to sorted for the move (Ft Dodge Road house)…when the driveway was mud and the piano threatened to slide into oblivion (Howard)…when we left our teenaged son living in our empty house until it was sold (Collinsville).
Each time we moved, I chased away any remembrances of longing for our former home by baking a chocolate cake. When the aroma of chocolate filled our new home, I was at home. I purposed that this would now be our home.
Now we plan another move from a home of 33 years to move near one of our children. I walk from room to room and find so many memories. Things that remind me of our life here. And I wonder if I can part with so many precious memories en-capsuled in the things I can touch ad see.
Things? I sit in the chair that my mother sat in long ago, and can hear her voice. “These are just things, Susie.”
Things! Suddenly the piles of paper that represent my life are not as important as the people we will leave behind. Precious children of God are our heart-possessions. These friendships, made in faith, continue on and will be renewed in that last move that we make when our spirits travel to Heaven.
John 14:1-3 has long been my favorite. Just quoting it brings peace. But have I quoted it so long that I have forgotten the message?
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust in me also. “There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If this were not true, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. If I go and do that, I will come back. And I will take you to be with me. Then you will also be where I am.
Again I will ‘put my hand to the plow and not look back’. I will bake a chocolate cake in our new home.
When I make that final move I wonder what aroma God will provide. I do know that Heaven will delight my eyes and my ears and my very being. In 2 Corinthians 2:14-15, I find that we have an aroma in Christ – Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
Recently I read another portion of scripture: Ephesians 3:17-19 – that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now I understand that to know the love of Christ will bring me to Heaven through faith and trust in this life. We cannot fully comprehend the depth of the riches He has for us…but I know this. The love of Christ fills my heart beyond mere words. The ultimate at home-ness – is Being At Home in Heaven.
Long ago I learned the song: Goin’ Home – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU3IgoM8TvE
Goin’ home, goin’ home, I’m a goin’ home
Quiet like, still some day, I’m just goin’ home
It’s not far, just close by, through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Going to fear no more
Mother’s there, expecting me
Father’s waiting too (father is waiting too)
Lots of folks gathered there (folks gathered there)
All the friends I knew
Goin’ home Goin’ home