I’ve been thinking about home a lot recently. Not the “wow I’m super homesick and want to be back in Texas right now” kind of thinking about home; but the “wow, when I think about home, there isn’t really one place that comes to mind” kind of thinking about home. You see, the word home might be defined as the place where you permanently live, but it’s actually so much more.
Home is the houses I remember, like the one I grew up at on Willow Crossing Drive when Emily and I were still small enough to slide down the banister (with parental supervision, of course). It’s the one on the Hovensa Refinery property surrounded by hundreds of others exactly like it with tin roofs that groaned in the mid-day sun. It’s the one in Cypress with the soft brown carpet and crooked bottlebrush tree in the back yard. It’s the Hutchings’ house in Linthorpe with the really British looking front room and the neatest windows in the attic that popped open to let in cool air. It’s my cute little dorm room at Alabama with my bookshelf and the kettle and coffee pot that are perpetually working.
Home is also the places I’ve spent countless hours. It’s the Caribbean beach where I always ended up with pounds of sand stuck in my swimsuit. It’s the hills in Estate Blessing where we climbed avocado and mango trees and played man hunt for hours after the sun went down. It’s Inwood Park Pool and the slides that we slid down in the middle of thunderstorms (lifeguards can’t get electrocuted, right?). It’s the man-made lakes and the Black Warrior River- also known as the only places I enjoy running. Home is Grove Hill and the church halls that smelled a little off every time I walked in.
Home has been some of the most brilliant churches in the world. It’s the Met, the church I attended when I met Jesus and then was baptized after I decided to make him Lord of my life. It’s the small Free Will Baptist Church on St. Croix (which is now struggling through the devastating effects of hurricanes) where I learned about how important church community is and enjoyed many church lunches on Sunday afternoons. It’s Champion Forest where I was given the opportunity to go on mission trips and proclaim the gospel in words and deeds around the US and in England. It’s St. Barnabas, a church that looked a lot different than the others but was full of people living their lives for Christ in a country where not many people know Jesus. And now, it’s Alberta Baptist. A church that from the moment I walked in felt like a family who wants to walk alongside you as you grow and serve the Lord.
Home is creation. It’s the never ending ocean and the lapping of the waves. It’s mighty waterfalls that spray your face and make you feel oh so awake. It’s fire and the warmth that it brings. It’s the life and beauty of trees that have stood tall for hundreds of years. It’s how small I feel when I look up into the millions of stars that were spoken into existence.
And home is people I love. There are far too many to name.
I think that all of these things that feel like home to me are little glimpses. Hundreds of tiny glances and whispers of what my eternal home will look like. And, let me tell you, it’s going to be breathtaking.