“I want to go home,” two-year-old Brennan said as he crawled onto my lap and snuggled his head against me. We were in Florida, visiting my parents. Ironically, I was visiting my childhood home for the last time…my Dad was retiring after thirty-seven years as pastor at the church I grew up in, and moving away from the place I’ve always called home. Throughout our visit, Brennan repeated this phrase,”I want to go home,” quite a bit.
I loved it. To me, it meant that there was something about our home that he missed. He liked our home. He felt safe there. He wanted to be there. And I could totally connect to that feeling of “home” as I cherished every final moment that week in my own home from childhood.
Well…imagine my surprise a week later, when he crawled onto my lap AT HOME, snuggled his head up against me, and muttered the now-familiar words, “I want to go home.”
“You are home, Brennan,” I replied.
“No, Mommy,” he said, “I want to go home.”
Clearly, he didn’t know what home meant.
So, I began to wonder, what is home to Brennan? What does he think it is and why does he want to go there?
Obviously, to Brennan, home was not actually this physical place I call home. It seemed, that maybe to Brennan, home represented an inner state of being. He was usually tired and needing to be held when he made the “I want to go home” statement. He seemed to be wanting rest, security, love, a safe place. He wanted to be in the arms of someone who loved him.
Hmmm…sounds like another home I’ve heard of. In Psalm 90:1, Moses prays “Lord, through all the generations, you have been our home.” (NLT). Other versions call him our “dwelling place.” God himself is our home, our dwelling place. What a beautiful picture I have of Brennan, laying his head on my shoulders (or Randy’s), my arms wrapped around him. He is “home.” Likewise, when we are in the arms of God, we are “home.” We have rest. We are safe, secure, and loved. In Moses’ blessing to the Israelites before his death, he said, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27, NIV). The arms of God is our refuge. Our safe place. Our home.
We all have a longing for home here on earth. For our eternal home. For heaven. We have glimpses of it here. Through the people who love us. In places where we feel safe and secure. And through experiences; experiences where we feel loved. All of these give us a taste of what’s to come.
Isaiah 40:11 says, “…He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.” That’s the home Brennan is longing for when he crawls into my arms. That’s a picture of the home we are all longing for. To be held in the arms of Christ, close to his heart.