Almost home. After ten days, twenty-three restaurants, four castles, seven cathedrals, one art museum, eleven taxi rides, two trains, three bus tours, one theater, and 459 miles of walking the streets of London and the countryside of England, I'm almost home.
The plane vibrates under me. The sun stands still in front of me. Weary travelers sleep around me. My wife watches three movies in a row beside me. Cool air blows from a hole above me. But all that matters is what is before me -- home.
There's no place like home. The sofa is softer, the bed is firmer, the shower is higher, the smell is sweeter, the embraces are more tender.
The longest part about going home is the last part. I waited to board the plane. I waited for eight hours in flight as time stands still traveling east to west. I waited in a slow moving line through customs. I waited for the limo to pick me up to take me the final leg home. I waited as the traffic crept slowly along on I-294 toward my hometown. I waited as the door to 708 Timber Trail opened.
But once it opened, out ran a beautiful seven year old. Her hair combed and braided. Wearing a brightly colored hair bow. Clean and pressed little jumper. And a toothless grin the width of the Grand Canyon. She jumps in my arms and cackles. Then she whispers in my ear, "Daddy, you're home!"
If Heaven is anything like that I can't wait. If I can feel so welcomed and so wanted in an imperfect world, through an imperfect child, in an imperfect house, what must heaven be like -- a perfect kingdom, through a perfect Father, in a perfect mansion?
This is what Jesus was trying to convey to his disciples in John 14
. Jesus was announcing that he must go away, but they were not to worry. He assured them that he was going to do some house remodeling and room additions for their heavenly occupancy. When he was completed, he would come and get them and welcome them to their heavenly home.
Like the disciples, there are some things about our heavenly home you and I need to know.
Our Heavenly Home Is Real
Bertrand Russell, the 1950 Nobel Prize winner for literature, wrote concerning the heavenly end to life, "There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere; only triviality for a moment -- then nothing." John Lennon's 1971 song Imagine contains the words, "Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try; No hell below us, above us only sky; Imagine all the people living for today." Still others have suggested that heaven is a state of mind, a figment of the imagination, a land of fairy tales.
Is heaven a myth? A fantasy? A wish? A non-existing place? A state of mind?
Heaven is real place. We have Jesus' word on that. He told his disciples not to worry about death, not to worry about their heavenly residence, and then gave them a reason, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2