What a week! On Tuesday my dad had two Grand Mal seizures. Now it’s Sunday and he is preparing to go home. At one point, we thought he might be going home to be with Jesus. But now he is simply going back to the house he and my mother have shared for close to 30 years. And as you can imagine, he is anxious to be out of the hospital and back into the familiar surroundings of their little house on the east side of Fort Worth. All that has to happen to make their arrival a reality, is for the AC to get fixed some time today. That was another fun addition to the week that none of us were quite prepared for. It seems the condenser finally gave in to the heat and gave up the ghost. A new one will be installed this afternoon. So mom and dad will have to wait it out in the cool confines of the hospital until then.
This really has been an amazing week. At one point I felt like we were going to be saying good bye to my dad for the last time. And now, as you can see from the picture above, he is alive and well. He has a lot of work to do to gain his strength back, but his mind is strong and his spirit is willing to do what it takes to get back his mobility. And through it all, he has been a model of peace, joy, gentleness, kindness, faith, and hope. He has never lost his sense of humor. He has never lost his temper. He has never lost his passion for prayer or his desire to share his faith with those around him. He has prayed for and with his nurses and asked each and every one of them about their spiritual lives. He has read his Bible each day and meditated on specific verses. A passage that he shared with me was from Psalm 30. “I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health. You brought me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling into the pit of death” (Psalm 30:1-3 NLT).
God has spared my father’s life, yet again. God obviously has more for my father to do in this life, in spite of him being 91 years of age. The thought hit me that dad is going home – not just to his house here on this planet, but to his heavenly residence being prepared for Him by God. In fact, as believers we are always going home. We are on a journey that is taking us from this temporary place to our permanent one. When my dad crosses the threshold of his house this afternoon, he will still be on his way home. When he lays his head on his own pillow this evening, he will simply be resting in order to regain strength for the next phase of his walk home tomorrow. What a difference it would make if we all lived with the perspective that we are on a journey home. This place is not our permanent dwelling place. It is not our destination, but simply a place through which we are passing as we head home. It reminds me of that old gospel tune that I have heard my dad sing so many times:
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 anymore
The old saying says, “Home is where the heart is.” My dad’s heart is in heaven. That is his home, and while his arrival has been delayed, that is still where he longs to be. He is grateful for the chance to spend more time with his wife of 68 years. He is thankful that he got to Facetime with his newest great-granddaughter yesterday. He is glad that he gets to return to the comforts of his house this afternoon. But he lives with a constant realization that he is always headed home. He is on a life-long journey to meet his Master. He will savor every moment along the way. He will take advantage of every opportunity and express the love of Christ to every individual he meets. But he never will lose sight of the fact that he is headed somewhere better, where He will meet the true love of his life – Jesus Christ.