Others called her home furnishings antique - she just called them old. They served a purpose so she never could find a good reason to buy a lot of new things. Besides she had always abided by the time-honored principle, "If it ain't broke..."
Her kitchen nook was resplendent with midmorning sun as a kettle from a little remembered era sang out the news that it was time for tea.
A metal hinged recipe box held a lifetime of mealtime memories. Scattered here and there were newspaper clippings describing the memorable moments of family and friends; marriages, birth announcements - funerals.
Suspended dust particles hung in the air as signs of spring (or perhaps the remnants of winter) filtered into her little home. She thought about what she would do and came away with little in the way of answer. Her life had been filled with times of being needed, but Hank had passed away several years ago, friends had come and now were gone, death had even exercised its grip on younger family members.
Her investment in the young had been a wise one. So many children who once clung to her apron, now had "clingers" of their own. So on this day she sat alone waxing melancholy.
The kettle continued to sing; yet she remained unmoved by its insistent voice.
She had tried listening to the radio, but all too often the music disturbed her senses and the words left much to be desired. The dial clicked and she was alone with her thoughts once more.
It seemed this new generation had made things less durable than she remembered. Cars, appliances - marriages. And everything raced ahead at an unbelievable pace. No one seemed to know what a front porch was for anymore. No one dropped by unexpectedly just because they were in the neighborhood.
She had lived through World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, The Gulf War and even a few "conflicts" in between, but the latest news about a war on terror was a little more difficult to understand. Hank had been a veteran as were her boys. An enemy you can't seem to find and difficult to identify? Oh, this was a different world than the one in which she and Hank had said their "I do's".
Why had Hank left so soon?
A familiar longing came to her unbidden yet not unwelcome, for it was this longing that had taken the longest to acquire. In her younger years the thought of heaven was far away and remote, sure she'd like to go there some day, but there was marriage and children to consider, then grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Tea would be good right now, yet she remained, as the whistle became more insistent.
Harps and halos? Not biblically correct and yet that was the picture of heaven she had always grow up with. A place where we praise God for eternity - there was always just some accomplishment or chore that needed to get done before she would agree that it was okay for God to call her home. She even remembered thinking that heaven might actually be - boring.
Yet, recently there had come clarity in her thoughts of heaven. It wasn't as if God came down and told her something new about heaven that He hadn't shared with anyone else, but she began to see that there was great truth in likening this life to grass that passes away, vapor that vanishes in a blink of an eye, or flowers that wither and fade. The aches and pains that she lived with were a constant reminder that we don't get better and better, but that one day each of our names will be remembered in a column of obituaries.
"Fill your cup," the teakettle song seemed to insist.
She smiled at the irony of a life lived with so many duties to perform and now there seemed little for her to do. Her name would soon be a clipping on someone else's kitchen table. Her "old stuff" would be divided up or sold and the house that Hank built would be sold. There was nothing she could do about that. But it really didn't matter. She had come to the conclusion that if her destination was heaven, then she wanted to know all she could about the place, as well as the God who presided over the Celestial City.
Giving up on life? Not a chance! However, she had come to see that it was inevitable that she would, some day soon, be trading in her life on earth for something far better and she found that the song writer said was true, "The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows."
Still, she didn't understand everything about heaven, but she knew that her Savior Jesus Christ would soon call her name. And she had to admit, she was becoming more than a little homesick. She had thought about what she would say to God when she met Him, only two words ever made their way to her lips, "Thank You!"
Had she said those words out loud?
* * * * *
What was happening?
Suddenly she was aware of something, or rather the lack of something. Gone were the aches and pains she had lived with for many long years; gone was the beloved kitchen table; gone was the rather annoying teakettle.
All was quiet for a time as her eyes became adjusted to new surroundings. Then a flood on inexpressible joy flooded her being as she heard words that she had waited and longed to hear, "Well done good and faithful servant."
"Am I truly Home at last?" she asked as she joined her Master in a joyful homecoming celebration.
m I allowed to comment on this Glenn? It is just so beautiful and has blessed me so much. What a reminder of the brevity of our lives but of eternal joy that is - just so close. Thankyou. You have incred my home-sickness.