My longing to come home intensifies each time my body fails me, when loved ones die, and upon hearing of another child receiving a different special needs diagnosis. One day when the longing was especially strong, I tried to explain the source of my growing desire to come home. Words failed in the end, but the longing remains. Perhaps you feel it, too.
I Want to Come Home
The news wasn’t what I’d hoped for. After three weeks of pampering, the broken bone in my right foot hadn’t healed much. The polite, young doctor didn’t say the lack of progress is age-related, but I’m pretty sure it is. He advised surgery as the next step (no pun intended), which means five to seven more weeks with a boot, wheelchair and crutches as unwanted companions.
The day after the diagnosis was difficult. I pondered two more months of relying on others to take me to appointments. Two more months of carefully maneuvering a wheelchair into the bathroom and bedroom. Two more months of waiting for others to open doors to get into bathrooms labeled “handicapped accessible.” Two more months of the foot injury exercise video created by a woman who thinks the human body can bend in ways mine never has.
I scrolled through Facebook as a distraction and clicked on a post about a cancer run dedicated to a dear friend who lives in northwest South Dakota. She had been treated for breast cancer a few years back. In a phone call early this summer, her husband said her prognosis was good. Two months ago, someone posted a picture of my friend in glowing good health. But the picture of her at the cancer run was a different matter. She was in a wheelchair, on oxygen, her head covered with a floppy hat.
I messaged a mutual acquaintance to learn more, and the reply was sobering. This dear friend–who befriended me when we moved far from home after college, who lost a son to a freak accident when he was 17–is now battling brain cancer. “She is in good spirits,” our mutual acquaintance said, “and she’d love to hear from you.”
Surprisingly, I felt no guilt about being discouraged earlier in the day. My feelings are valid. The next few months will be difficult. My situation isn’t as serious as my friend’s, but it is an unwelcome reminder that my earthly tent will need more and more repairs as the years go by.
My heart ached for her and her husband, who is my husband’s dear friend. A longing for heaven welled up inside me, the longing that comes to all who are separated by distance and death from those we love. I wanted to throw off the chains that bind us to this earth and to be finished, once and for all, with this temporary life. I yearned to leave behind the good things of this world, none of which compare to the good things waiting in heaven–reunion with loved ones, restoration of relationships, and best of all, eternity in the presence of our Savior.
I want what we all want when life is not as it should be, what all who love Jesus desire as they complete the years ordained for them. At the end of all things, what we as believers truly want, what we want forever and for always, is simply to be where we belong. We want to come home.
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down,
we have a building from God,
a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 Corinthians 5:1
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