When the Legos had been put away and the ping-pong paddles had been laid to rest, when he’d slipped into his flannel green pajama pants and he’d climbed into that top bunk, he’d remember where he was.
Or maybe where he wasn’t.
The shadows dance differently on these walls, and the starlight hides quiet in the frosty thicket of trees beyond the window. And when my little boy would finally drop his brown-haired head on his pillow, he’d cry for home.
I just want to go home….
He’d cover his ears with the palms of his hands, as if ten fingers could block out the wailing of his own heart, and then he’d baptize the mattress with tears, salty and silent.
He’d often remind me that this wasn’t his plan, that if it were up to him, he would have chosen to stay in that house bordered by cornfields and green grass, the house where we played baseball in the yard and raced to the mailbox without weaving through trees. And sometimes when the tears dried, he’d let the sadness cloak itself in anger. And those words would seep out like spit sailing in the wind, I want to go home…
And as I lay there crammed against the wooden rail of that bed and rubbed soft circles across my little boy’s skinny back,I’d find myself thinking about how strange it is to roam the grocery store without anyone stopping me for a chat in aisle 7; how lonely it feels to sit in the coffee shop alone, and how odd it is to watch kids file out of school without knowing the names behind those toothless smiles or a freckled faces.
And on those long nights of holding my heart-hurting son, I’d pray for us both. I’d claim all those promises I’d scribbled in my journal, the ones straight from the Word, and I’d ask God to make our new house in our new town in our new state feel like home.
But this morning, as I read my Savior’s words in John 14, I wondered if instead of praying about a house, I should be praying for our hearts.
Because as the sun slipped through those tangled branches beyond my window, I realized this– Home isn’t a place. It’s a Person.
Home isn’t the light at the end of the road. It’s the Hope that lights our way.
Home isn’t a refuge from the storm. It’s the Love that storms our hearts.
We don’t find home around the bend; Home finds us when we bend in obedience, one faithful step at a time.
And when we CHOOSE to love Jesus more than any other place or possibility, more than any other comfort or creed, our hearts find rest no matter where our feet may land.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” -John 14:23
Joining Lisa-Jo and countless other beautiful writers for Five-Minute Friday as we write about the word “choose.”
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