Dad is Going Home
Paul said that our body is merely a “tent.” It’s not “who” we are but only “where” we live temporarily. That’s an apt illustration. Tents at their best are still fragile dwellings, subject to the elements and often in need of repair. So, according to the apostle, all those who are Christ’s can anticipate the day when we move out of our earthly tent and exchange it for “a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens” (2 Cor 5:1). Believers through the centuries have referred to this as our real and final “home.”
After ninety-seven years in his earthly tent, Dad is going home. Oh, he’s not left us just yet! But, sitting by his bed, I catch a glimpse of him stirring around behind the worn canvas of his tent, now temporarily staked out in room 518. The wick is short, the oil is almost depleted, and the light flickers low. But silhouetted inside, I occasionally can see my dad moving about, preparing for his departure.
In his typically methodical fashion, so much like his own father before him, he is gathering up his earthly store and preparing to leave it behind. In the dim light, like folded clothes I see him placing out on a cot the remnants of his life, knowing they are not suitable attire for the future. Every acclaim or boast, every complaint or criticism, all the successes and each one of his failures, joys, tears, accolades, achievements, dark sins and failures, eager desires and sad disappointments…are all laid out to be left behind. Soon he will know what it is to be clothed only in the righteousness of Christ. And what sounds like “Taps” to us will be “Reveille” for him!
“Sort of frightening, isn’t it?” I was startled by the voice of a nurse who had been standing quietly beside me. “Not really,” I replied, “if you know where you’re going. But it is a picture of a journey we’ll all make some day.” In the ensuing minutes, the single mother of three (one severely impaired mentally) explained how her own fears for the future were only amplified by her work there in the nursing home. And there, at the end of Dad’s bed, while he was busily at work in his “tent,” that sweet nurse opened her heart like a flower to receive the Son of Righteousness as her Savior.
Thank you Lord! Oh…and good work Dad. I know you could hear us talking and were praying for us. Now, keep packing. You’ll be home soon!
2 Tim 1:12