It is always good to get home after being away for awhile. The break in routine is nice and experiencing new places opens your eyes to other cultures, landscapes, lifestyles, and traditions. It is fun but it also helps us appreciate what we have at home. It feels good to sleep on your own pillow and awaken to the Midwest sunrise again.
The more we travel to new places, the more I am brought to my knees in awe of the details and variety of creation Our God has designed. I was surprised that even though we were a thousand miles away, God brought thoughts of home to us that kept us grounded in our faith and family.
While walking a long stretch of the white sandy beach of South Carolina, looking for seashells, John was reminded of his Grandma Mae. When he was a child, Grandma Mae lived along the Gulf in Texas. Whenever she came to visit Iowa she would bring a big box of seashells she had gathered from the beach, that John and his brother and sister could look through and choose a few favorites. And her shells were big! I picked up nearly 50 shells and they all fit in a sandwich size baggie. It was lovely to walk along the ocean and remember our beloved Grandma Mae.
Our first night in South Carolina we stopped for dinner at The Crazy Crab for a meal of seafood. It was just the atmosphere we were looking for; our table overlooked the nearby waterway and low lands and the outdoor dining area that was home to two cats that were fed all the fish scraps. We were served our iced teas with a large basket of hushpuppies. We looked at each other and laughed. When our boys were young we often went out for lunch with my parents after church and they loved Long John Silvers. We would get our meals and everyone would pass their hushpuppies to Mama because she was the only one who liked them. She would wrap up the extras in a napkin and put them in her purse to take home. John and I decided to give the South Carolina hushpuppies a try in Mama's memory. We nearly finished off the basket in her honor.
"Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me,"" (John 14:23-24 NIV).
As we live comfortably in our homes with Jesus, or travel to see other parts of the world that God created, let us remember to lift up those without earthly homes, including those recently hit by the hurricane and its powerful rains in Texas. May we celebrate the home we have with Jesus in our hearts and pray that those suffering will be shown signs of all that Jesus offers them in good times and in times of desperate need. Amen.