Every once in a while, I find myself so very homesick for a place that I have not yet been. This same longing filled the heart of the Apostle Paul and he mentioned it from time to time. “I prefer to be absent from this body and to be at home with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8) or “I am hard pressed, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for this is very much better” (Philippians 1:23).
My personal longings were recently stirred when reading the poetry of Emily Dickenson (which I highly recommend). She wrote…
I never saw a moor; I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks, and what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God, nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot as if a chart were given.
Emily Dickenson’s words brought to my mind the words from an old B.J. Thomas song.
“They say that heaven’s pretty and living here is too.
But if they said that I would have to choose between the two,
I’d go home, home where I belong.
And sometimes when I’m dreaming it comes as no surprise,
That if you look you’ll see a homesick feeling in my eyes.
I’m going home, home, where I belong.”
My final thought came in the form of a hymn that I learned as a child…
This world is not my home; I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world any more.
Though the choosing of when I enter that celestial realm is not mine, it does not change the fact that I am homesick today. But, like Paul, I have as my ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him” (II Corinthians 5:9) or, I know for the present time, “…I will remain with you for the progress of your joy and faith…in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:25-26).