The colors lured me in, as did the $3 price tag. (Shout out for second hand shops!) And even though it’s been hanging in my house for a good four years, something about the sentiment has always struck me as… incomplete. Missing the mark somehow.
Home is where your story begins. True enough, but lacking. Not to mention a bit cliché.
I mean I get it. Your home, particularly your childhood home, is where it all begins, the opening scene of your life story. But now that our family’s concept of home is being shaken like a can of spray-paint, I’m tempted to make some revisions.
Everything we own has, or will be, packed or purged. Some things will cross the ocean with us, some will be stored in the States, most of it will be re-homed, sold, or donated. Even our dog, who I know is not a thing, will redefine her home. This is a hard one. The hardest, really. She’s my dog and this is my house. Those are my hardwood floor that we saved for and installed with friends, and in my yard bloom my peonies. And those kids – even the one who’s not really anymore – those kids are mine.
Mine, mine, mine.
Indeed, home is where our story begins, and that is a hard thing to let go of.
As we’ve purged, the things in our home that hold value have managed to float to the surface. Particular items survived the great purge of 2017, as well as the great purge of 2018, and it’s not because of their monetary worth. The rug at the kitchen sink. A certain pillow. Photographs. That specific Christmas ornament. Mason jars, of all things. So we will clutch and carry them overseas, the trinkets and memorabilia that communicate home. Such tangible markers are important, valid and good, especially when home is under a state of reconstruction, which may be more often than we think because while our homes may give us the sense of permanence, (as do the things/animals/people in them) it’s an illusion.
What seems permanent breaks down, grows up, moves out. What seems permanent even dies. Because every story, every life, holds not only a beginning but also a middle and an end. And the more pages you travel through, as you journey from beginning to middle, the more you realize there really is a The End. And as that comes nearer, clearer, we cling fiercely to whatever it is we consider home, even as e we’re challenged to ponder what is home?
For believers, for those who stake their all on the finished work of Jesus, home does not mark the beginning of the story. Home awaits us at The End. If we’re breathing, if our hearts are beating, we’re not there yet. We’re stuck in traffic. Or waiting on the plane (for those of you who remember the analogy). It’s only after we’ve run the race, after we’ve carried our cross, after we’ve walked by faith that we get settle in for good. Our true, untainted by sin life beings at the end. Home.
Beginning are important but endings are everything.
So as our family transitions out of our home in central Wisconsin to a new home overseas in a gigantic city, (not to mention a college dorm for our son) we’ll do what we can to make it cozy and comfortable so it feels like home. But we stand on something truer, something richer, a reality abundantly more comforting than anything I can offer with Mason jars and photographs and kitchen rugs:
Home is Where your Story Ends.
“But our homeland is in heaven, where our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is; and we are looking forward to his return from there.” -Philippians 3:20 (Living Bible)