I was home.
Some places belong to you like charms on a necklace. You wear them and love them and enjoy their beauty and wonders. But home lives in you and you wish you could stay forever.
Even a lifetime on this California coastline would simply be a lovely place to dwell for a minute, though. Life is one grand celebration of Passover before we head home. I don't know how I missed that truth before.
Eat in haste, friends. Don't get too comfortable, we are headed for glory any moment now. A Lamb has been slain, and His spilled blood covers us. Our exodus awaits.
It would be less bothersome to mindlessly find jobs, pass the time, enjoy the temperate weather, bear the occasional storms, and dwell right where we are. Staying is bondage, though. Clinging to an earthly home means surrendering our rights as God's children and the call to live for Him alone.
We have a few friends who are homeless. Like all people, their lives aren't easy for many reasons. They are quirky, funny people who are pretty much just like everyone I know with roofed houses and HVACs. They are lonely. They need grace and truth in equal proportion. They need to know they have what it takes to rise above their circumstances. They love to laugh and forget their troubles. Homeless people are less comfortable than I am most winter nights, but we share the promise of a heavenly home, and our suffering doesn't have to be eternal.
We are all trying to find a place to hide beneath the blood covered doorpost for the long night. Heaven is a home running with fountains of living water. It lives for us, through us, in us, and to us.
We flew back to Austin on a great big metal bird yesterday. A friend picked us up at the airport and helped us drag our luggage up to the turquoise front door of our passover house. Mr. Fantastic turned the AC on when we got inside. The kids scattered to find beloved toys and favorite spots on the sofa. I began to make a grocery list.
I looked at those five people who are of infinite value to me. I thought of the church full of gorgeous faces who are God's beloved. There are thousands more souls awaiting exodus here in Austin. This is the way home. The trail home leads right alongside the lives of the people God mercifully adores. We serve and love one another and God leads the way.
Death passes over us. Provision falls from heaven. There will be some uncomfortable nights in the desert. But one fine day, a new sun will rise and we will all fly home. To that, we cling.