Every day it’s the same thing.
You leave the office and begin the fight with traffic to go home. At first, you’re thinking about what you left behind—a to-do list that only seemed to grow; responsibilities that will be there in the morning; boxes to be checked, meetings to be had, and calls to be made. You’re thinking about these things as the miles start to click by on the odometer, and then, at some point, your focus changes from where you’ve left to where you’re going.
You’re going home. The road is familiar; you’ve driven it a thousand times before. Then comes the exit where you get off the interstate. Then one turn; then another. Then there’s the left turn where you always have to wait, and you wonder when the gap in the traffic is going to come. And then it does. You’re in your neighborhood. Your street. And then finally, there out your window, is your driveway. There’s the crack in the retaining wall you’ve been thinking about fixing; there’s the yard that always seems to have a few more weeds than it should; there’s the left-out frisbees and scooters that, again, those kids have failed to put away.
And you smile because you’re home. You pull into the garage in that space that’s always a little too tight. You open your door and bang it into the side wall just like you did yesterday, noticing that the paint is finally starting to peel off the car from many such encounters. You open the back door, and it hits you.
Depending on the season, it’s a blast of either pleasantly cool or warm air. It’s the sight of the same place where you hang your keys up so you won’t forget them (again) tomorrow. And the smell. The smell is the greatest part of all. It’s a smell that reminds you that humans live here, and not just any humans – they’re your humans. This is the smell of your home, and it’s unique to your home. It’s a wash of bodies, scented soaps, laundry detergent, and whatever’s cooking on the stove upstairs. It’s your smell, worn into the walls with a thousand family conversations, a thousand popcorn and movie nights, a thousand wrestling matches on the carpet.
You’re home. And it is glorious.
The familiarity of home is one of those gracious gifts the Lord drips into our lives everyday; it’s one of those things reminding us that here, even if nowhere else, we actually belong. Here we are safe. Here we are loved. And yet at the same time, moments like these point us to the greater realities. We have a better home. It will be more familiar. We will be more safe. And, though we are fully loved now, we will have no more doubt or misplaced expression of that love any more.
We go home, and we are going home.