As we arrived in North Texas Tuesday evening, one of the first greetings we heard was “welcome home” from Steven Estes, one of the Shepherds at the West Main Street Church in Lewisville.
Last night, bone weary, after a very long day of unloading our 20,000 pounds of stuff (and all I did was watch and direct traffic), we were in bed at 9:00 p.m. Norma Jean turned to me and said, “This feels like home.”
Home is a sweet sounding word. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote, “Home is the nicest word there is.” Cecila Ahern said, “Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”
Numerous writers have echoed the sentiment that “Home isn’t a place. it’s a person.”
And there is the famous quote, that has become a well-known proverb, by the first century Roman writer, Pliny the Elder, “Home is where the heart is.”
In almost 48 years of marriage Norma Jean and I have called several places home. Florida. Ohio. Tennessee. Kentucky. Missouri. And now Texas. Each one was home to us because we were together. Our family was intact. And our hearts were joined in a mutual mission. A ministry. A message. A divine purpose that transcended our geographical location.
We are home, not because we like our new house. It’s location. Or the inviting amenities of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We’re home because we’re with God’s people. We’ve come to join a church Family. In fact, when you’re a Christian, you’re never without a family. The Bible says, “You are God’s family.” Regardless of the state or country you’re residing in.
In less that 24 hours we have been the recipients of our new family’s love, kindness and generosity. In so many ways. Text messages. Emails. And facebook “likes.” Meals provided. Help offered. Housing secured. Hugs. Hand shakes. Warm smiles. Gleaming eyes. And even deer on our deck for Norma Jean! All say, “welcome home.”
And yet I’m reminded of another home expressed in this favorite old hymn, “This world is not my home I’m just a-passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”
Jesus promised He would prepare for us an eternal home. A glorious, opulent home. A celestial home. A heavenly home. (John 14:1-3)
One day we will all be home. Together. Family. Friends. Brethren in Kansas City. Columbia. Tampa. Palmetto. Louisville. Hillsboro. Kettering. From Maine to California. From Washington to Texas. From every continent and country around the world.
In the words another song writer when we arrive at our final destination. At our real home. It will be a glorious day.
I’ll see Him in His glory
As the angels say “Welcome Home”
No more crying, no more sorrow
No more death or pain “Welcome Home”
I heard him say “Welcome Home”
I heard Him say “Welcome Home, my child”
Until that time, we’ll be content and honored to serve Him from our home in Texas.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman