everthing was going fine until reality hit–literally. or maybe he was the one hitting reality–hard. suddenly the smooth exhilaration, the feeling of the wind on his face and the speed of motion end abruptly with his bicycle skidding to a halt on the rocks, grinding his elbow, knee, hands into the gravel. and suddenly bicycles are not exciting anymore. or maybe they’re too exciting. and everything is swallowed up in pain and anguish and humiliation. and all he wants to do is to go home. he wants mom to make everything all better.

everything was fun until it wasn’t. then suddenly the slumber party took a turn for the worse. someone suggests a game that involves humiliating each other, and, fearful for herself as well as for the humiliation of others, she finds herself wanting out. now. dares she call home this late at night? will dad still be up? will he come get her? maybe she’s just being stupid. after all, no one else seems to object to being made fun of. but all she wants is home. at home it will be easier to sort things out. and at home it won’t matter if she was being stupid or not.

Home. It’s not a reasoning thing. If we reasoned it out we would realize that Mom and bandaids can’t really stem the throbbing and hurting. If we reasoned it out we would realize that it’s just for one night, and eventually it will go away and be only dim memory. But for that moment–that long, unreasoning moment–we want home. “Just let me go home!” our whole being cries.

We grow up. Bandaids no longer work their magic. Mom and Dad are no longer the cure-all. We begin to see that sometimes there are things bigger than anything they can cure. But that cry doesn’t go away. Sometimes even at home I have felt it screaming out inside of me: “I want to go hooooome!” It’s as though the bigger we grow the larger the longing becomes. Even after we no longer cry from scraped knees. Even after we learn how to handle the peer pressure. We still want HOME. A home that will cure the big problems of reality when we hit it in the real world. The presence of that cry indicates that somewhere there is a real home that will satisfy that very real and ever bigger longing. As thirst testifies to the existence of water, our longings testify to the existence of HOME.

tonight, I want to go home. i have that unreasoning sick-to-my-stomach feel like you get when something is really really hurting but you don’t exactly know what. maybe everything hurts and your stomach is having sympathy pains–stomachs are very sympathetic organs, you know! i wish I could go back to my parents’ house right now. i’d give almost anything to curl up next to Mom and feel her arms around me and know that in this place at this moment everything is fine.

But even though that’s home to me. Even though it would feel wonderful just to be with her right now, it’s not enough to fix the “owies” or “booboos” of life. There’s only one home that can do that. Ultimately it’s Heaven where God the Father will, like a mom or dad that’s just bandaged up a wound, take a heavenly tissue (guarenteed not to rip) and wipe away the tears from our faces. But John 15 dares to say that Jesus Christ–God Himself in full humanity–will make His home in us. I don’t really understand how it all works. And it seems too good to be true.

Maybe I’m already home.