|Over the past couple of months I’ve been involved with a number of senior citizens in my city, driving the bus that takes them on outings, or to the bank, grocery store, or all-in-one places like Target and Walmart. During this brief time, some friendships began to emerge with these seniors, and one of my favorites has been with Glen. Having just turned 84 years old, Glen had some trouble remembering things, but his sweet spirit and lively sense of humor made him a favorite of many at the center where he lived.
In one conversation with Glen, I asked him what he was looking forward to, and his answer was immediate and clear: “I’m looking forward to being home in Heaven.” We began talking about life and faith, and it became clear that Glen had a real and true relationship with Jesus Christ. His statement about “being home” stuck with me, and provoked some deeper thoughts on this final aspect of transcendent longing.
All of us want to be “home.” We yearn for that place, for that setting that feels right, where we are complete and comfortable and safe. We watch programs like “Fixer-Upper” or “My Lottery Dream Home” and feel the tug in our hearts about finding the place to live happily ever after, where our desires are fulfilled, and where peace and contentment rules the day. Every fairy tale has that perfect ending, the culmination of a life journey that leads us home. My favorite worship song at the moment, Hillsong’s “Behold (Then Sings My Soul)” concludes with the phrase “Behold, the Lord our God will lead us home.”
It’s the residue of Eden that is alive in every human heart. It’s the transcendent longing for Heaven, the real and tangible place that is our eternal home. I believe the knowledge of and longing for Heaven has to be squelched and denied if it is not to be believed. Billy Graham looked forward to going home to Heaven, but the tragedy for Stephen Hawking was that he had no home to look forward to. I’m afraid he’s had a rude awakening, although who can predict the mercies of God?
Glen went home yesterday. He went to church with his friend, Linda, and had a heart attack, in his Father’s house. I didn’t know him for long enough, I didn’t know him well enough, but I’m certain of this – the transcendent Home I’m yearning for is the same Home that Glen desired. I’ll see him again, along with all who have gone before, and we will surely live happily ever after – in Heaven, at home.