After a month long absence Hubby and I are at long last home! (HOME. Isn’t that a beautiful word?) To say that we missed it would be a gross understatement. We spent all of September in the States, traveling a total of 13,202 miles, hitting Rome, Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Michigan, the Bronx, and Rome again.
And while greatly appreciative of all hospitality offered, as miles and days passed our longing for home steadily increased. Though blessed to see family and friends after many years, our hearts longed for home.
“Home” is an interesting word. As far as I can determine, it doesn’t exist in other languages. Every nation and language has a word for house, but home is so much more.
But what exactly makes home such a special and important place?
“Home” means something different to each person. And I believe this also changes according to the place we presently call home. When I think of our simple summer home in Italy’s southern mountains, thoughts of cozy fireside evenings come to mind. Along with a nostalgic wistfulness. Home here in our Abruzzo village means relaxed afternoons on our porch swing, soaking in our beautiful, peaceful view, see above. [Read | Our Towns]
This extended trip reconfirmed that home for me is Italy, and I longed for familiar things. Shops where I know the owners and coffee bars where I feel welcomed. My weary (60-year-old) body yearned for my own bed and soft feather pillow. And my soul the calm order of my minimalist home and bathroom bidet.
I missed the freedom to stay in PJ’s all day long. To get or stay up as early or late as I wished. The freedom to eat what or when I wanted. And, as an INFJ (introvert), to sit quietly for long periods without speech or interaction.
The times I’ve traveled without Hubby made me miss him and home all the more. It was home because I knew he awaited me there.
“Home is where the heart is” is not just a cute saying. Home is familiar things, beloved people, and a sense of belonging. One of the things our heart most yearns after.
The need for home is deeply embedded within the human heart. But do we miss our heavenly home as much as we should?
Ever since sin separated us from God, his Spirit draws us back, causing ours to seek that which we lost.
When we leave home for lengthy periods, it often makes us realize that home here is only temporary. And this should increase our longing for the eternal. Increase the longing for the only place that can truly fulfill our deep need of belonging. And look more earnestly for the One who makes it home and awaits us there. Our citizenship is in heaven, where we truly belong. (Hebrews 13:14); Philippians 3:20)
Perhaps this is why John’s words in chapter 14 resonate so deeply in our hearts.
This temporary home is filled with trouble and worry, and we often face painful separation. But the Lord has gone to prepare a better place. So we look forward to the day when good-bye, farewell, so long, ciao, and arrivederci will leave our vocabulary for good. When painful farewells become a thing of the past.
Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.John 14:1-3 WEB
He has gone to prepare a place where death shall be no more. Where mourning, crying, and pain cease. Where all is made new and everlasting. (Revelation 21:3-5)
So how can we not be homesick? How can we not long for the One who awaits us there?
This trip made me realize that sometimes I get a little too comfortable in this earthly home. Seeking for a sense of belonging and satisfaction here, and of course never truly finding it. Then my heart becomes troubled and I wonder why. When all I have to do is keep seeking the city which is to come. And making Home a place where I keep God nestled deep in my heart.
How homesick are you?
And how deep in your heart is the need for your heavenly home?
If we really think that home is elsewhere and that this life is a “wandering to find home,” why should we not look forward to the arrival?C.S. Lewis