Home is such a lovely word. Regardless of our backgrounds and what our homes may have been in the past or are today, we all have a vision of what home should be. It’s a place of warmth and love and acceptance. And often smells like Mama’s home cooking!
I’ve thought of home a lot recently. Up until about three years ago, my parents lived in my grandparents’ home. Built in 1954 (waaayyy before I was born!), it has been a grounding force for me and my family. Unfortunately DOT (Department of Transportation) is not particularly interested in how much you love your house when they want to widen the road in front of said house.
And so my folks moved. The old homestead was relocated by DOT and my parents moved on to a newer house. It is a lovely home, has more room for our growing family and has quickly become home to all of us.
But it’s odd to think that my grandmother never stood in that kitchen and cooked a meal. The driveway is not the place where my grandmother set out the wading pool and my brother, our cousin and I played in the water in our skivvies on hot NC days. The screened porch is not the breezeway where we sat and shelled peas, stringed beans and shucked corn summer after summer after summer. And the yard doesn’t hold the beautiful fruit trees that were a source of great pride for my grandfather.
That being said, my family is not a family to look back, except with love and nostalgia. As my parents moved their belongings, we moved forward together with lovely memories of the family home. We will miss the home place and we will still share the same funny stories over and over again. Like the time my mother mowed down one of my grandfather’s fruit trees on the riding tractor. That one always makes us laugh!
As I read Luke 15 in The Message recently, I noticed in verse 20 that when the prodigal was thinking of how to improve his poor situation, the first place he thought of was home. At the end of verse 20, it says that he practiced his speech and then “he got right up and went home to his father” (Luke 15:20, MSG).
He didn’t have any idea what would await him when he arrived. And I doubt that he even began to think of being restored as a son. But he knew his father well enough to know that even though there were consequences to face, he could go home again.
And that is what he did.
How blessed we are to know the Father who will welcome us home, love us, offer us healing and prepare a feast for us. All we have to do is get right up and go home to our Father. He stands waiting and there is nothing too big for him to forgive … even running over a prized fruit tree!