I recognized his familiar gait as he limped over to our van and grabbed a bottle of water, pressing it to his forehead, hopeful that it would offer some reprieve from the blistering heat. I shielded my eyes from the sun and smiled, then nodded towards the box of clothes we had brought with us.
His name is JR, and his tent is one of many that are set up along this stretch of road. Tents faded and damaged from the unrelenting Arizona summers. Tents that JR and all those who live alongside him call home. He runs a comb through his curly gray hair and laughs. A deep glorious laugh that brings joyful tears to his kind eyes. Eyes clouded from untreated cataracts and lack of nutrition. Eyes surrounded by deep lines that tell the story of hard living, and wisdom, and age.
JR looks at me and says, “You know . . . I was thinkin’ today, and I’m not homeless. I’m not homeless because this is my home.” He motioned to his green tent, and then spread his arms wide over his head, “And God is my home, you know? So, I got a home.”
More than once JR has taught me a lesson. He is an incredible teacher. He has taught me about loving others, about friendship, and about forgiveness. On this day he taught me about home.
Sister, I know that when we think of “home” it’s not always a place of comfort and peace. Sometimes our sense of “home” reminds us of our deepest wounds, of our longing, our regret, and our stress. If your heart is aching for that place of solace, a place where you can find rest, a place that feels like “home,” I pray that the words of my dear friend JR give you peace.
Home for JR looks a lot like Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). When we feel lost, He is with us. When we feel lonely, He is with us. When we wander, He is waiting. Waiting for us to come home. How does this resonate with you today?When we wander, He is waiting. // Leana Bowler Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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