It was a dark night and the four door black ford car chugged its way down Route 66 in Oklahoma. As we inched our way around the curves, up and down the hills, we three children nodded in the back seat. Our ‘social director’ Mom noticed we were quiet and slipped a bit of anticipation into our thoughts, “Kids, when we get to the top of the next hill, we will see Clinton. I wonder who will see it first!”
The edge of excitement was echoed by our ‘transportation director’ Dad. I looked over his shoulder and ‘helped’ him stare into the lights of the oncoming cars as we sped down the highway at 40 to 45 miles per hour. His strong hands gripped the steering wheel. We knew we were safe with our Dad.
Suddenly we crested that final hill and there in the dark night was a valley of lights welcoming us home. For a moment no one spoke, for we were speechless. I wondered how it looked from God on high, those little lights must seem so inconsequential to Him.
Fast forward 20 plus years, and we are in a station wagon – heading toward Watonga, Oklahoma. This time the speed increased to 65 to 70. Again a few mountains and turns before our destination and our four little children nodding in the back seat. My excitement grew, for we were going home for a visit to visit my parents. “Watch for the wheat grainery, kids. We will soon see Grandpa and Grandma. Who will be first to see the grainery!”
Dan, Paul, Tim and Anna peered through the windows with anticipation, watching for the wonderful small town where their Grandpa and Grandma lived. They knew they were loved unconditionally by these two people; they anticipated the joy of being with them and in their presence. The memories of hugs past and love, seeing their Grandparents remains vividly in their hearts to this day.
One summer, one of our sons came home, he sat down, stretching his long legs in the living room. I asked him why he liked coming home. He replied, “I never have to worry about having something to eat or a place to sleep. I can just relax and be home.”
Home. So many songs and poems have been written about home. It is a place that each of us longs for. It is a place that is more than a place. It is a condition of the heart. We have a way of knowing without even experiencing it, that the phrase, “being at home” spells peace, trust and love.
One of the songs I sang long ago tastes of home. Not only did Mother teach me this song, but the words came to mean more and more to me with her passing on to her Heavenly Home.
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, I’m jes’ goin’ home.
One morning, I sat in a car, waiting for time to pray with my two prayer partners. The sky stretched across my vision with beautiful clouds. I thought about Jesus ascending in clouds and he will come back the same way. (Acts 1:9-10) When He comes again He will keep his word in John 14:3-4 – And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Suddenly the clouds parted and the most brilliant golden sunlight filled the car. In astonishment and delight, I whispered, “Jesus, have you come?” There was no fear, but joy. No concern, but pure love. A sense of home filled my heart.
Searching the Scriptures, I find that others have seen the glory of God.
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55
… and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. Ezekiel 43:2
There are more word-pictures of home, but these two verses speak to me. Be filled with the Holy Spirit, look up to the heavens to see the glory of God. The imagery in Ezekiel paints a different picture with sound. The power of rushing waters, created by God. And imagine the most breathtaking sunset, and I will see God’s glory and majesty.
I see Home! And I am not the first! I know the signs of Home as I travel this road of life. There is Truth, Love, Hope, Forgiveness in the hearts of men. Home is in the distance, but the brilliant sun-light of the Lord’s people light the dark path.
Help me find nourishment along this road of life from the Living Water. Keep my feet shod with the shoes of faith. Hold my Hand, dear Lord, for You are my Home, Sweet Home