Each time I’ve watched The Wizard of Oz I’m captivated by the scene where Dorothy fears she will never get back to her Kansas home because the wizard’s balloon left without her. Glinda shows up and tells Dorothy that she always had the power to go back home, but that she wouldn’t have believed it, saying, “She had to learn for herself.” Of course, we all know that Dorothy takes time to reflect that what she learned most was, “There is no place like home.”
Where do you call home? Is it where you live? Or maybe where you grew up or somewhere you used to live? Maybe you have a second home you use for vacations.
The bible teaches us that we are “foreigners in a strange land,” (1 Peter 2:11-12); that we are actually “citizens of heaven” Philippians 3:20-21); and that our behaviors and ambitions should reflect this. While we are citizens of our own country and have a home on this earth, this is not our real home. We are just visiting for a very short span of time in the middle of eternity.
Think how foolish it would be if you vacationed somewhere for a week or two and decided to invest all your time and money remodeling the place for that short visit. You’d spend all that time and money for a short moment of your life. That is a picture of our 70-100 year life; it is actually a very short period of time, perhaps a blink of an eye, compared to how long we will all live (somewhere) for eternity.
Evan Giallanza knew this. He lived in El Paso where he served as worship leader and pastor at my sister’s church. But he knew his real home was in heaven. He loved Jesus, his family, his church and people in general. He fought a hard fight with a difficult cancer and fought it well, even laughing and making others laugh at the end, amidst his pain. I find myself missing this man whom I never have met! So when I was told that Evan “went home” to be with the Lord on Memorial Day, I knew this was not just a cliché or euphemism for dying. Evan is home; no more pain, no more sorrow. There is no place like (your real) home, a home of perfect peace that surpasses all understanding.
Would you join me in praying for his dear wife Jill who not only lost her husband but also her mother who died that same day? And also pray for their children Amy, Dustin, and Kaitlin? So many of you have prayed for Marcia and me; I tell you the truth: our battle, while still in process, is very light and momentary compared to the struggles Evan and Jill have faced and that Jill and her children have ahead of them. Perhaps you would even commit to adding this special family to your daily prayer agenda, especially during this difficult season. Thank you.