Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thinkin' 'Bout Home

By Brenda Black

There is a wandering soul in many of us that perpetuates discontent. The monotony of familiar surroundings causes longing for fantasy in far-away places, yet foreign locations and strange faces make us pine for the comfort of home. Thousands of travelers are stranded this week, trapped in airports or along closed inner state highways. I wonder if they are curled up on hard airport benches or hunkered down in semi truck cabs and dreaming like Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz: “There's no place like home, there's no place like home.”

For me --I arrived at my destination safely, but I am nonetheless dreaming about home. As heavy as the cold, damp air was the heavy feeling in my heart when I left home a day ahead of the storm and embarked on my cross-country flight. I sat alone and waited for my delayed plane to arrive and hoped none of the other passengers sitting at a distance would notice the big crocodile tears pooling in my eyes.

I wasn't afraid of flying in the weather. Wasn't worried about losing my luggage. I didn't fret over the journey much at all. Well maybe a little later, when we chopped our way through clouds that looked like cotton candy but punched the plane like choppy waves on a rolling sea. I prayed through that stratus-slicing portion of the ascent then relaxed when we cruised through blue, sunny skies above the tumult of white below. But before take-off, my foreboding was more attributed to leaving my husband alone at home to fend for himself in the forthcoming blizzard.

Sure he's a big boy, but what if...and a dozen scenarios littered my mind. We didn't spend much time together that morning and our good-bye was rushed. I worked all morning to rebook the last available flight leaving town ahead of the front. We didn't get to linger, talk or pray as we had my last trip away. As I headed west, he would get in a car and drive north on potentially icy streets and face the arctic blast beating it's away across his path. And that bothered me.

You see, I would have rather crawled into that car and braved the trip with him than to go it alone to fairer skies without him. I would rather be home in sub-zero weather with a storm so fierce that it blows the curtains on the inside of the house than to be far away, alone and safe. Because that's home and my family and neighborhood friends and those are my cows and horses and dog and cat that I care about more than my own comfort or safety.

So while I am sitting in warmth and quiet in the Mile High City of Denver, all be it bitter cold beyond this 20th floor hotel window, I am sheltered and I am comfortable, but I am thinking about home. Home is family and memories. It is where I'm known and mostly loved, sometimes tolerated and always forgiven. Home is my heart and my haven even if it lies in the eye of a blizzard.

As much as this distance during dire circumstances makes me long for home and hearth, there's another home that I yearn for even more -- heaven -- where I won't be alone.

After seeing how God could lift me from storm to sunshine, carry me out of harm's way and land me safely where He's called me to be this week, I have no doubt that the home I'll one day see will be perfect! And there I'll be with family and friends safe and sound and no distance between us or blizzards to harm us! I'll have no worries, sense no fear, cry no tears. That sounds like home to me. Like where I want to be.

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-9)

Home. I hope just thinking about it warms your heart this cold, blustery week.

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