Yes, there's the never-ending laundry, the unpacking, the shaking the sand out of everything (if we went to the beach), collecting the dog and paying for a week at the kennel, and adjusting back into our normal routine - BUT, there is a peacefulness that comes with returning to our home... sleeping in our own beds... using our own showers... scavenging in our own pantry! The familiarity of our own home is soothing and a relief after the hustle and bustle of a family vacation.
I wonder if when we die, returning home to Heaven is like that...? Will we have that sense of relief and peace... just at a higher magnitude? Will we say to ourselves, "Wow... Life was a great vacation... but I'm so glad to be HOME! Hey... God! What'd I miss while I was away?"
At this moment, our closest friends are at a funeral. Their neighbor's 4-year old son, an only child, has been battling fast-growing brain tumors for over a year and finally succumbed to his cancer on Wednesday. This, of course, is a devastating loss to his family... you can never prepare yourself for losing a child... no matter now much time the doctors tell you is left... no matter now often hospice is called in. And while the family is grieving, I wonder if Joey is joyfully bouncing into Heaven calling, "Heeeey, Goooooooooddddd.... I'mmmmm baaaaack! Did ya' miss me?!" From the side of Heaven, his homecoming is a cause for celebration. In returning Home, he is healthy and whole, and will patiently wait while his parents, family, and friends continue their "vacations" on Earth. The hole in his family's hearts is wide, jagged, and painful... but they will be healed when they are reunited with their precious son... grandson... friend... in Heaven. And that Homecoming will be the sweetest of them all.
Please bring comfort and peace to Joey's family. Fill their hearts and minds with the knowledge that their precious child is healthy, happy, and safe in your care. Let them know that a reunion in Heaven is only a moment away in Joey's time, and give them the strength to continue their life on this Earth... living this earthly "vacation" to its fullest, until they join you and Joey in a joyous homecoming in Heaven.