Longing for Home

Looking out the airplane window, flying into Dallas, I got the biggest lump in my throat and teared up as I watched the city in which I live come into view. Barely. I strained to see skyscrapers peeking through the thick layer of smog that blankets our great big city during this sweltering time of year; the giant white arches of the Margaret Hunt Bridge that cross the Trinity River; the massive (and I do mean massive) coil of highways—the mixmaster— knotted together like giant pretzels carrying 8 million plus people in and out of the DFW metroplex. That great big city and all those people is where I live. Oh, I complain about it—the heat, the smog, the traffic, the noise… but this home. I love it here. And my heart was stirred.

I’d just flown in from a very quick trip to my former home, Orlando, to be with some of my family as we circled around a dear one in need; and to break some good bread and drink good wine with a couple of my closest buddies. Orlando—the true Orlando— is a beautiful and charming place. I was fortunate to have been born and raised in The City Beautiful, long before Walt Disney discovered it. Much of it is still pristine and lovely: brick streets, thousands of lakes scattered everywhere, big oaks with moss blowing gracefully in the humid breeze; sunny days, rainy afternoons. I was uprooted 20+ years ago, and my heart still longs for lots of what I left behind in Orlando. Pieces of my heart will always be in Orlando, and pieces of Orlando will always be in my heart—mostly in the shape of family and friends that I hold nearly and dearly—who’ve known me forever and loved me the same, and I them. Friends who’ve pointed me to Jesus, and still do. It was a sweet kiss from the Lord to spend some time with them this past week.

They say Home is where the heart is. Or so it’s attributed to some guy named Pliny the Elder, a.k.a. Gaius Plinius Secundus, who died in 79 A.D. during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii. (I know you’ve been dying to know that forever.) But the saying is apropos; it’s not the “what” that makes a home, but the “who;” because the who’s are what captures our hearts. Without the who’s we’re merely captivated by non-essentials, non-eternal material things. But people…our friends and family—the ones at home or back home—are the holders of the heart. They are both the most ordinary and beautiful God-given parts of life.

“Every true friend is a glimpse of God” – Lucy Larcom

As the plane descended to Dallas, I could see more clearly—treetops and roof tops, my neighborhood, the shopping centers I frequent. Home. This is where God planted John and me 20 years ago. I got choked up. Not over those things I could see from high above, but of who is waiting for me there below—the who’s, who after all these many years, now hold precious pieces of my heart. Friends I am richly blessed with and whom I treasure dearly in Dallas. And of course, mostly my man. He is the biggest part of home to me. As we tell one another each time one of us flies away, “It’s not home when you’re not here.” And it’s not.

I’m content at home, in my home, and I’m content with my home and the life John and I share. It’s relatively quiet, and simple. Yet there is always a certain restlessness that nothing—not even good food, good wine, good friendships, or greater material comforts— can satisfy permanently. And I think it’s because our hearts are indeed always restless for our true Home. As Jack wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).

❤️ Something to Think About

Though we strive to make Eden of this Earth, we only get a taste of it that dissipates quickly. Our every attempt to improve, renovate, redecorate, recreate, rebuild…our bodies, our homes, our communities, our private worlds…is an effort to in some way restore paradise lost. We all do it, but we never succeed because nothing in this world will ever completely satisfy us—and that is by God’s design. He created our hearts to long for what only He can give us; and our hearts will never truly feel at home until we are indeed at Home with the One who longs to take us There.

And so, we endeavor to put the greater part of our life’s energies into what will be forever: people. The “who’s” that we do life with. People are eternal; people will live forever. But only people who know Jesus will live forever with God in the Home that He has created just for us; a beautiful, joyful, death-free, pain-free, peaceful, purposeful, and plentiful place called Home— that no eye has seen, nor mind has imagined (1 Corinthians 2:9)!

I want every precious soul I know and love to know that true Home one day. It begs the question: Who do I know and love that does not know and love Jesus? And what will I do today to help lead them to Jesus—that they will live with God in His Forever Home?

One More Thing

If you’re looking for a great summer read, I strongly suggest Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan. It’s a brilliant historical fiction novel of Joy Davidman’s life, romance, and marriage with C. S. Lewis. I absolutely could not put it down, and I think you’ll love it!

Until next week, don’t forget that you are greatly and dearly loved by The King. And let’s live our beautiful, ordinary lives like it…and smile!

I love you!
xo – P❤️