Recently, I returned from a two-day conference on aging issues and faith communities. I unpacked and began writing in my journal, but I didn’t write that I was back home. I wrote that I was back at the house. There is a difference.
I was asked to open the conference in prayer. (It is still okay to pray at a secular conference in the South.) Before praying, I asked the attendees to close their eyes as I attempted to paint an image in their minds. I told the attendees of a dream my father-in-law had recently. He dreamed that he had died and gone to Heaven, where he saw a river. Sitting on the river’s bank in a long white dress was Sue, his daughter, who died two years ago. He instinctively knew she was waiting for him.
I can see Sue sitting on that bank as clearly as if I were holding a photograph. The Bible speaks of a husband and wife as being one flesh. Without a doubt I feel that half of me is missing since Sue died. I feel incomplete, and I don’t feel like I fit anywhere anymore. Stay with me. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m just rethinking home.
I can’t yet bring myself to call my new house my home. Perhaps, I would feel a bit differently if Sue had lived here with me, but I sold the house we shared. This new, smaller house is devoid of any shared memories. Quite honestly, Heaven seems more like home these days, because a significant portion of my heart is already there.
Growing old is a gift in many ways. Yes, we fight it tooth and nail, but the process of growing old should come with an increasing desire that Heaven will one day soon be our home. As our eyesight fades, so does the attraction for this life. Little by little we loosen our grip. There truly is a peace that passes all understanding for those who have put their faith in Christ.
If home is where the heart is, then I must be almost home!
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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