Home Menu

Going Home

I Corinthians 15:16-17
II Corinthians 5:6-8
I Thessalonians 4:13-14
Revelation 21:4-5

I was pondering death one day, immersed in the loneliness that is inevitable when someone you have loved so very much isn’t a part of your life any longer.

I would no longer be going to Poteau “for a few days to be with Mother.” I wouldn’t be calling to talk to her about the books she was reading or about one of her delicious recipes. I wouldn’t be sending the flowers that she loved so dearly. She was simply no longer there.

The finality of a lost relationship is beyond comprehension. It only becomes reality as the days pass. Granma Hoyle, Aunt Lucy, Uncle Al–they had all been gone for years. My beloved Dad and dear, sweet, little Mason–and now, Mother.

These thoughts came to me and over the years have become very precious. I would like to share them with you. . . .

My family was still “intact,” and they loved me. They were proud of me. I was very special to them, and they were very special to me.

I went to Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. I know–you’ve never heard of it. That’s all right. Of course, I didn’t have a car to go back and forth between Tahlequah and Poteau, my beloved hometown, about a three-hour drive away. So I frequented the bus station.

Perhaps you remember how those bus trips were: The driver would dutifully announce, in his best monotone, the towns as we would approach them. (That monotone must have been one of the requirements for being a bus driver!) As he did so, certain people would gather their belongings, stand at the exit, and then get off. They were home. Where they had been or how long they had been gone or the circumstances that brought them back–none of those things concerned me. Just the thrill of going home!

I didn’t know any of the people getting off, but as I got closer and closer to Poteau, I’d get more and more excited!

“Westville.”

“Stilwell.

“Sallisaw” . . . and I knew I had less than an hour left.

Mother and Daddy would be there to meet me when I stepped off the bus. My anticipation grew because I knew just what to expect. Everything was going to be prepared for me. My room would be spotlessly cleaned, and there would be a single red carnation in a bud vase on my dresser. There would be fried chicken, chocolate pie, fresh tomatoes, and probably an “almost finished” new dress that Mother would have ready for me to try on. All of my favorite things! How dear to remember it even now. And I know that those people who got off at Westville and Stilwell–who were secure in their love from the people they were meeting–felt just like I did.

There’s Cavanaugh mountain!

“Spiro.” (Thirty minutes.)

“Panama.” (Fifteen minutes.)

“Shady Point.” Almost there . . . almost home!

* * *

In my life, I’m “riding the bus” with Mason and Dad, Mom and Pop, Mother and all of my other dear ones. I certainly didn’t dream that my little boy, Mace, was going to get up–step off the bus–and be Home that day in May of 1972. Nor that Mother would smile and wave goodbye and step through the door on June 22, 1981. She was Home! And the people who were meeting her! There’s Marcus, her beloved husband, Aunt Lucy and Uncle Al, Grandma Cummins, Mace . . . how exciting! How wonderful!

I don’t turn around and look at their empty seats and think about things I never said, or things that I did say. I don’t linger, remembering how much fun we had as we rode together. I don’t think about the experiences we shared through the trip. No, that’s a “luxury” that I do not afford myself.

Instead, I think of the clean room with the single red carnation on the dresser . . . the fried chicken . . . the chocolate pie . . . the fresh tomatoes. I think about all the preparations for the gala Homecoming.

And, of course, I don’t know who in my circle of love is going to begin gathering their things together and get off at the next stop. But I do know that if I can just see with spiritual eyes, I will see them smile, wave goodbye, and dash into the waiting arms of loved ones–smothered with kisses and held once more in those embraces that had been only a poignant memory for years and years. And ultimately they will be ushered into the waiting arms of our beloved Jesus! Incomparable! More than wonderful!

I’m getting closer and closer as my hair begins to thin and my scalp shows through the gray, as it gets a bit more difficult to get up, once I’ve gotten down. Maybe the driver is calling out “Stilwell” about now. And the anticipation is building. They’ll be watching for me and everything will be ready! They love me. I’m secure in that. And, best of all, Jesus will be there . . . with open arms. Oh! I am beginning to get so excited about finally getting . . . HOME!

* * *

May the Lord bless you, dear one, and fill your life with anticipation.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.