There's No Place Like Home

7:41 PM

Home is not simply a mark upon a map any more than a river is just water. It is the place at the center of the compass from which every arrow radiates, and where the heart is fixed. It is a force that forever draws us back or lures us on. For where the home is, there lies hope, and the future awaits, and everything is possible. -Call the Midwife

As a little girl I was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz. I would watch it endlessly, much to the dismay of my long suffering family. One Christmas, I was given my very own pair of ruby red slippers. I don't think I've ever adored an article of clothing  half as much. I was Dorothy. The fan phase continued even as a teenager. At age twelve, I was awarded second place in a Wizard of Oz singing/look alike contest. Perhaps I would have even won, had I not dumped my stuffed Toto on the stage and bled glitter from my haphazardly spray painted shoes.

Almost every day as a child, I'd run into our backyard, climb to the top of the swing set and look out as far as I could. I dreamed of adventure and the day my world would turn from black and white into marvelous technicolor. What kind of world lay out there beyond my reach? Tracing contrails in the sky, I wondered what it would be like to get on an airplane and fly far, far away from my little desert valley. It would take courage and heart to be sure, but I'd find those along the way. 

How could I have dreamed all of the places that God would allow me to see only a few short years later? How could I have known that my heart would break for nations I'd only read about and people whose language was as foreign to me as Pig Latin. And yet, somewhere along the way, I began to miss something I didn't even realize I'd had- a home. After living in so many places and having come to love so many people, the concept of home had become a little blurred. Was it with my family in America? Was it with my close friends in Germany? Was it something I would find in a spouse or a calling? If I clicked my heels together three times, where on earth would I end up?

I've come to realize that home is an idea that lies deeply rooted in human hearts. For home we will live, work, die, and go to war. It is home for which vagabonds cry out and lost souls mourn. It is a heart's cry, an ideal, a secret longing, and the departing wish of many upon this earth. But what is home anymore? In a world in which families are torn apart, divorce is almost expected, and people are constantly on the move, where is home? The moment Adam and Eve took one last look at a beautiful garden as they sadly walked into exile, an ache was instilled in their hearts and the hearts of their descendants for a place to call home. Since then, we've all been trying to find that elusive place where our family, friends, and God all live and enjoy each other. Dare I restate what we've so often heard before? Perhaps home is not a place, it's a person. Perhaps home is Him. God is our home, His arms our resting place, and until we're once again reunited, we are but "foreigners and nomads upon this earth." (Heb 11) 

I guess you could say I've resigned myself to homelessness. And yet, there are times when the ache for home grows stronger and the pain is turned into sweetness and a lover's joyous pining. There are times when I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He is in the room and life itself becomes a garden. I have lived in so many places and loved so many people, and yet, I know, someday, I will see them all again. One day my life will begin, and they'll all be there; every German who laughed and cried with me, every Thai who reached for better things, every Irishman who taught me the depths of prayer, every Aussie, every Kiwi. They all pass before my eyes even now. One day, we'll all go to sleep one last time. Perhaps it will be caused by a bump on the head, a heart attack, or just old age, but when we awake, we'll find that black and white has been changed into glorious technicolor and the longing of our hearts has been satiated at last. We'll be home. And let me tell you, there's no place like it. 

images via, neutralmilkhostel, and 

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