Traveling a long time gives one plenty of time to ponder many things. Last week as I was driving on the last segment of my journey to Africa, I began to ponder – What does “home” mean to me? I use the word to communicate how I feel about a certain place and people. All who know me know that one of the contenders for my “home” love is Alabama. I love Alabama. I was raised in Mobile and graduated from the University of Alabama. I frequently tell people that I am heading home to SWEET HOME ALABAMA!
But then, God has me stopped short of Alabama. I’m now in Mississippi. I call Mississippi home too. Here I have been reunited with my sister. God has allowed us to get to know each other better, in fact, better than we have our entire lives. I have also made many new friends here who have added so much to my life. The community of Daleville is small but people with genuine authenticity live here --- with a variety of different personalities. They support the work I do in the community and in Africa. Daleville, Mississippi is also my home.
Rwanda is also a place I call home. I made friends there on my first trip to Africa and I always seem to feel that once again I have arrived home when I visit her land of one thousand hills.
Kenya is another place I have called home as well.
There are times when I reunite with friends who I have not seen for a while who make me feel at home. You know the type. You can pick up the conversation where you left off and feel like you’ve not missed a thing. No matter the geographic location, I am at home when I am with them.
On this last trip to Rwanda, I experienced several home comings…. Rwanda, Alabama, Mississippi and the connections with longtime friends. But in reality, none of these places are my home. I’m only on earth for a season while I live for eternity. This earth is not my real home. I am here only for a short while to do the work God has given me to do. When I am finished here, I will THEN return to my TRUE home.
I look forward to my days in God’s presence while in my earthly home, but truly look forward with great anticipation my glorious homecoming for eternity…in God’s time.