Where is home, and where is Heaven?

Sooo slow I am in fully returning to Being Home. Though I suppose I never will be living in my house in quite the same way as before, having sojourned so distantly, and changed in God only knows what ways. I grew older, for sure. But maybe I grew younger, too?

clean air, vineyards and mustard bloom

I was so surprised, when I walked in the front door on my return from that other world, to see that I have wood floors. At that moment I didn’t feel the lack of windows and light, but only felt the warmth and welcome that my house had held in trust for me all those weeks, even though I had learned to live happily with hard and cool marble floors, and the strange light coming through a multitude of windows, reflected off the Arabian Sea and filtered through smog.

It’s taken me nearly three weeks just to fill and start up the fountain again. The finches were having to make do with winterized nyger seed, that is, frozen and thawed, rained on and packed down into a brick at the bottom of the feeder. But I fixed those things today and looked around some more at the garden. Rosemary is blooming and the fountain is now tinkling.

I just learned that Swiss chard is also called silverbeet!
Jerusalem Sage
Pride of Madeira with no blooms yet…

Do you remember Miss Grenadine? She was a gift from Mr. Glad. She kept watch over my bedroom while I was gone, and still does during the day:

I had lunch with my goddaughter last week. She and her husband lost their house in the fires that ravaged our area last October. A day or two after that dreadful event, she texted me, “Wherever our family is together, that is home.”

I understand some of that. Ever since my husband passed from this earthly life three years ago this month, I have felt most at home when I am with my children, wherever a few of us are gathered. I don’t think I would feel this way if we didn’t all agree on this: though we’ve been supremely blessed in this life, it’s not satisfying in itself, no matter what beautiful place you live in and with what dear humans.

At this moment I’m thinking about things homey and cozy (or cool, as we preferred, in Mumbai), but of course concurrent in all of our lives is pain and suffering. Wherever I go, I bring myself with my sin-sickness, and I carry in my heart the burdens of those whose suffering seems to me hardly bearable. But in every place, Christ is. He is the one who makes the atmosphere sweet with the scent of flowers or the affection of our children. He is always giving us Himself.

At the end of things, The Blessed will say, “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven.” And the lost will say, “We were always in Hell.” And both will speak truly.
― C.S. Lewis

10 thoughts on “Where is home, and where is Heaven?

  1. When we’ve been dis-placed — moved from the familiar and comfortable into all the necessities of adaptation — it does take time to settle back in. Even a week away can be long enough for me to need a period of adjustment. I’d say you’re doing remarkably well. And isn’t it true that we see all the old things with new eyes, once we’ve been away? In the end, I’d say that’s all to the good, and that it is, in a sense, a restoration of a child’s view of things.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dearest Gretchen ~ your encouraging post has truly blessed my heart this morning. Thank you for that great quote from C.S. Lewis.

    Your rosemary with all of those blooms is totally amazing. I’ve only had rosemary bloom once or twice down here in hot and humid s.e. FL, and nothing like yours. I can almost smell it and it makes me want to get more.

    Have a lovely Thursday ~ Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gretchen, I always love to hear you write, but this may well be my favorite listening-to-you yet. My heart agrees. As each day and year slips by, I feel less at home here; this world is never satisfying, and that’s no criticism of my family or friends, or of God’s Nature out there. My soul longs for the safety and peace of Heaven, and my feet and hands long for the soil of the New Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do love that C.S. Lewis quote. It’s completely soothing, as is your post. God is a good gardener, tending to our souls in such a generous and careful way. Your fountain is a thing of beauty, GJ!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Gretchen,

    Thank you for your faithful writing. I learn, and am inspired.

    When we prayed for “God’s will” about where to live (the Davis vs. Woodland debate), God answered me audibly in a sense, through a Scripture-song that came on:

    “YOU have been our dwelling place,
    through all generations…”

    And it was then that it hit me that the geography matters not as much as being always in the presence of our God, from whence we came, to Whom we are going, Who holds us along the way.

    Thank you for your wonderful words.


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  6. You spoke so much of what’s in my heart. It’s true that even in the cheeriest little cottage I would miss the presence of my children. They do make it a home. But I try to think of how much they’re blessing the world by being out there in it. Aren’t they precious people and friends? That’s why I look so forward to having a place at my daughter’s, so we can all drop in on each other more frequently. I love the doll. I have two dolls my mom made which remind me of her every time I see them. (And I’m not usually a doll person!) You know, I think I’ve heard of silverbeet, but didn’t realize it was swiss chard. 🙂 I always love the way C.S. Lewis expresses important thoughts. Hugs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your yard and fountain look so beautiful right now. How wonderful to be enjoying it. I liked this post so much and the CS Lewis quote. Your post reminds me of this quote which I love: As much of Heaven is visible as we have eyes to see. ~William Winter

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I came here searching for a voice I have always trusted and for an anchoring, I was not disappointed. This post is a treasure. Thank you, dear Gretchen.

    Liked by 1 person

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