What is home? Webster’s defines it as a house, apartment or other shelter; a place where domestic affections are centered; an institution for people with special needs – add another twenty-one various definitions. Add another word and you have home-bound, home-care, home-maker, homecoming.
I came home from school when I was a child. When I went off to college, I came home for the holidays and summer vacation. Home was the house in which my parents lived, the town in which I grew up. Each year loosened the bonds to the house and town. My parents moved. So I drove north to Oregon to visit. The home in which I had grown up belonged to someone else. Eventually, it was bull-dozed. Home wasn’t something I could hold onto or a place to which I could return. It wasn’t there anymore. Even the road was changed.
I moved into an apartment with my brother. I was a stewardess at the time and it was a place to live between flights. Then I moved in with Rick’s parents until he and I married and made a home for ourselves in a one-room studio apartment in Santa Ana. It was “home” for less than three months and we moved again. Rick and I were home whenever we were together.
Going home means something else to me, something more permanent, as in “Grandma went home to be with the Lord”. That home is a place, a shelter, where my love is centered and will be perfected in the Presence of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I long to go home even while I am at home here on earth. I don’t long for death. I long for real life. I have a taste of it now with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but I yearn for the fullness of the promise.
It’s what I write about most often, I think. That longing is always there inside me. As a believer, I have become a temple for the Holy Spirit. The Lord abides in me. At times, He makes His Presence known to me in ways that increase my faith, comfort and uphold me in times of trial, convict me when I’m distracted and slipping from the path. But I long to see Him, to stand in His Presence, to live in Heaven where He is, to walk in a place that has no sin where He is the light, where the river flows from His throne.
Abra, the primary character in Bridge to Haven, runs away from home even while longing for it. Like many people, she seeks love, failing to see it was always offered, always available if she was only willing to accept and open her heart to the gift. She had to come home in her relationship with Joshua before she could go home to God and the fullness of all He offers each and every one of us on a daily basis.