Going Home?

Well, that Bible Translation workshop in Manila is looming, so tomorrow I leave Iowa and go home… to California (ah, yes, I hear the Joni Mitchell song in my head, haha.) But wait, San Diego’s not home anymore, not really. But we grew up there, so it is home in that sense, and it will be good to see Elisa and Bethy as I pass through town. It may be a rather long time until I see either of them again. I hate the goodbyes.

Then the following week, I’m really going home… yes, the Philippines is “home.” We’ve lived most of our adult lives there. But I’m not really looking forward to going there and being separated from Donna again. No where is really “home” without her. And besides, Manila, where I will attend the Translation Workshop, isn’t home… Palawan is home! …or at least we have a house there… and we like it better.

But for a while I’ll be in town on Palawan, and our house is in the village. Okay, so sometime for sure by the end of the month, I’ll head into the jungle and be home… right? Well, I’ll be in our house… but missing Donna, so that ain’t home to me. After nearly 30 years, I’ve gotten kind of used to having her around!

But I’ve been thinking a lot about “home” lately and what that really means. All those years in the Philippines and we still considered San Diego to be home, but we had at least four “homes” in the Philippines… our house in the tribe and 3 mission guest homes we frequented. Our kids would arrive at any of them, drop their backpack and run out to play. They knew all the nooks and crannies and where to find their friends who might be staying there. So home is really where you feel comfortable… the place you know your way around. So we can have more than one “home” if we’re willing to launch out a bit.

That’s one of the hardest things about being a missionary… letting go of “home” and learning to consider a very different place to be home. But it’s worth the effort in many ways.

Home… where you feel comfortable and at rest. Hmmm. Well, this evening I’m sad, because as I leave Iowa, I’ll be saying goodbye to Donna’s mom and most likely never seeing her again… well, not on this earth, anyway. Tomorrow before Donna drives me to the airport, I’m planning to tell her, “I love you” and “Thanks for giving me Donna,” and “I won’t be seeing you for a long time.” But of course, that speaks from the faith that I will see her again… when we’re ALL really and truly “home” at last.

(Paul’s prayer for us in EPH 3:17)
So okay, we can have many “homes” here on earth, but none of us is truly home… not yet. Someday we will be, and we’ll be “comfortable” there, for sure. We’ll never want to leave. It won’t be just a place, as much as no longing having any separation between us and our God. But for that to happen (and for us to enjoy the homes we have here to the utmost), we need to let the Lord feel at home in our hearts now.

But since I’m not really “home” just yet, in the meantime, I’d sure settle for having Donna being with me, together in the same place down here.

About billdavisthoughts

From San Diego, CA. I've been a missionary and Bible translator in the Philippines for over 30 years and have travelled as a language learning consultant to 15 countries. I play piano and guitar. I write, read voraciously and love to work on word puzzles. Married for 35 years, we have two daughters and two grandchildren.
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