The saga involving my mother and our family has taken another unexpected turn. To review, briefly, in late November she was acutely and critically ill, with a diagnosis that was expected to quickly result in her death. She decided to come home from the hospital and spend her remaining days there, with support from her family and hospice. I began a series of posts about what was going on as my mom moved through what we anticipated as being the final stage of her life, with the first post here.
Mom didn’t die, but in fact she gradually got better, surviving the acute phase of her illness. Seven weeks ago, when it was no longer possible for my siblings and I to care for her in her home, we made a plan for her to move into our home, a plan that changed at the last minute when my mom opted to move into a care facility within her own community. I wrote about that here, the most recent post of this series.
And now she has moved back to her home, something none of us would have ever anticipated. At the care facility she continued to improve in virtually every way, so much so that she didn’t think she needed to live their anymore and that she could return to her home. So she made a plan, got some support services in place and went home for a trial stay over the weekend, a trial that seemed to go well enough that she is back at her own home to stay “for good.”
I haven’t asked her any probing questions about her motivation to return home. I think that all of us have an innate longing to “be home,” to live in the place where we feel the most at ease. The place that always feels comfortable. The place that contains those people and things in which we find the most meaning. As Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”
I agree with Dorothy’s sentiments, and what, without asking, I presume to be my mom’s desire too, that there is no place like home. And yet I also know that even at its very best, a home here on earth only dimly points to that best of homes, our eternal home with God.
In John 17:2-3 Jesus tells his disciples this about home:
“In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
I’m glad that my mom has made it back to her home and I hope that she time she spends there is enjoyable and peaceful. And in that joy and peace I hope that she tastes something that gives her a longing for the eternal home that Jesus promises his disciples, the place that is perfect in every way.
Even now, Jesus is preparing a place for my mom. And one day he will be returning to gather her, and every person who calls on him by faith, so that where he is, they, or more properly we, may be also. Forever.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.