Home Isn’t Just Where the Heart Is

They say you can’t go back home. But that’s what we did recently for our first vacation since we left Milwaukee one year ago. My wife, Tammy, and I went back home, but it really isn’t “home” any more.


In a sense, Milwaukee will always be my “home,” because it’s where I was born and raised. We still have family there, and wonderful friends. But since then “home” has been St. Louis, western North Carolina, the Washington, D.C., area, and then Milwaukee again…for another fifteen years.

Now we live in Florida. Yes, it’s hot and humid in the summer. Yes, it’s a sea of strip malls. Yes, we have alligators occasionally roaming our neighborhood.

But this is now home. The winters are wonderful. The people we have come to know are great. Our parish has become a family to us.

Yet what really makes it home is that we, Tammy and I, are here together. Our kids now think of this as home. It feels like home when I drive up to our house after a long trip. It’s a place of rest, a place of peace, a sanctuary and fortress against all that the outside world would throw at us.

It is, of course, a shadow of our true Home. Our lives as Christians lean in that direction. When we get to that Place there will be a true sense of togetherness, community, and family. There will be rest, peace, sanctuary and fortress against all that could ever again harm us or make us sad.

They say you can’t go back home. But “they” don’t understand that home is not just where the heart is, it is where our true life lies. We lean toward it and long for it.

What about your home is it that reminds you of your true, eternal home?

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3 thoughts on “Home Isn’t Just Where the Heart Is

  1. I'm glad you like your new "temporary" home. As I was swimming laps at the Y a bit ago, and the ran came down, I thought how I could get struck by lightening. The thunder wasn't close yet and I was grateful that the pool was still open, even if I didn't get to swim my usual number of laps. And then I thought, OK, what if I did get struck from lightening and died. I didn't need to fear death. I would go to my eternal home and that was a pleasant thought. I wouldn't do anything "dangerous" to get there quickly, but it doesn't matter when God calls me home. I'll be ready. The lifeguard finally closed the pool. OK, maybe not today, Lord.

  2. I fear I'll sound pretentiously pious when I say that wherever I am feels like home because I'm confident that God has put me wherever I am. This sense of "being just the right size … in just the right place … at just the right time" has been a long time coming. But becoming more confident in living in and under God's will has been a progressive thing … and I sure am happy for the progress. Thanks, Tom, for the opportunity to be grateful. Peace, Pete