Heaven Is A Home
Warmth. Safety. Comfort. Acceptance. These are some words that come to mind when I think of the word “home”. The Random House Dictionary defines it like this:
home (hom), -n. l. a place of residence.
A place of residence – that definition certainly seems misplaced. It sounds sterile and cold, impersonal and generic, more like the word “house”.
For many people the word “home” conjures up sweet images of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren. It brings to mind holiday dinners, warm conversations, cozy beds, hugs and kisses. It also carries within it’s letters a full range of emotions, everything from the celebration of birth to the desolation of death, and all that lies between. Home is a word filled with love.
Love is the root of all good things. It nourishes and strengthens, grounds and frees us. Love is the thing that makes a house a home. There is, I’m happy to say, a second definition for the word “home” in my dictionary:
home (hom), -n. 2. the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.
Now that’s more like it. But it’s still lacking, in my opinion. Ideally it should also say,
home (hom), -n. 3. the place where character is shaped, confidence formed, and the love of God is instilled. I love what T. DeWitt Talmage had to say about the importance of having Christ in our homes:
A church within a church, a republic within a republic, a world within a world, is spelled by four letters – home! If things go right there, they go right everywhere; if things go wrong there, they go wrong everywhere. The door-sill of the dwelling-house is the foundation of church and state…In other words, domestic life overarches and undergirds all other life…First, last, and all the time, have Christ in your home.
It is part of the dream isn’t it, to have the perfect home and family? We’ve all wanted that at some time in our lives. But since we live in an imperfect world, I would like to add another definition:
home (hom), -n. 4. a place where life, love and mistakes happen.
If we had the chance to do it all again, we would do a lot differently. Wouldn’t we? Most of us weren’t raised in a Norman Rockwell painting. We may feel that we had neither the talent nor the ability to create a picture perfect home. Those with small children, hope and pray that their home is all that it should be, and those of us with children grown and gone, hope and pray that it was all it should have been. But ideal situations are something for fairy tales, aren’t they?
I know each of us has a skeleton or two (or three) in our closets. As normal as things appear on the outside, there is much we would change on the inside. Though we must accept the things we cannot change, there are some things we can change.
Even though we can’t go back and re-raise our children, it doesn’t mean that we can’t experience, here and now, all that the word “home” implies. We can. God has promised to help us. He promises to move right in. He promises to furnish each room with compassion, sympathy, and love.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, puts it like this: “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened calf with hatred.” (Proverbs. 15:17) Whether our nest is full or empty, whether we have happy memories or carry sad and painful pictures of our past, there is always now. Today we can continue to build. We can strive to create. We can experience a little bit of heaven here on earth, yet all the while looking forward to our heavenly home.
Take the next step: