For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 (The Message)
Home again, home again, jiggity jig. In two hours, I went from chilly, overcast Philadelphia back to stifling, hot Florida. But, its home. Even though it is a dirty home. I hope that should I die before he does, my husband will not spend the life insurance money on an elaborate funeral, but will hire a maid instead. Why is it that a man cannot use a dishwasher? Or sweep? There was enough sand from the dogs under the dining table to build a sand castle! Oh, well. I can take care of it. No matter how comfortable a hotel room. How nice not to have morning chores. No matter how much I enjoyed the peace and quiet at the end of the day, there is no place like home. My time in Philadelphia had me thinking a lot about home as I watched the city dwellers flood the streets each day walking to work. Some pushing their babies in strollers to day care in the basement of their office building. Preschoolers rode their tricycles under the overhangs of twenty story buildings and the only grass they had was in city parks. Children played tag around the statues of Revolutionary War heroes and when they were old enough to go to school donned uniforms and rode the city bus to class. I kept wondering what it would be like to live in a city where you didn’t need a car. Where the small markets and drug stores were in walking distance. Even the K-Mart was right downtown on Market Street. What would it be like to walk your dog on the sidewalk amongst the hoards of people? To raise an animal that never learned to go to the bathroom on the grass, only on concrete? Though the horse drawn carriages complete with the smell of manure in the historic district tickled me, with dogs on leashes and cats in the windows, wildlife seemed limited to sparrows, pigeons and squirrels. I enjoyed my time in Philadelphia, the long walks from the river to the art museum, with public art tucked in every nook and cranny. Murals on the sides of buildings and sculpture in every courtyard. Fountains to splash and cool the air. But, I can’t imagine living there. What would it be like to live high in the sky with only a small balcony your outlet for sunshine and fresh air? I know that city life has its advantages, but most of the week, I felt like the country mouse come to the city and walked around with my head tilted back and my mouth open. Those born and raised in Philadelphia know no different and call the city home. Were they here, they probably would resent spending an entire day mowing grass or having to drive to get to town. Home is what you are used to and where your heart is, unless you are longing for a heavenly home. And then, it’s just a temporary, albeit dirty, situation.