“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” –John 23:43
It’s called South Heaven. It was aptly named forty-some years ago by the original owner. There in Florida, we had spent a week of wholeness, grace, and healing. But when the week ended, we faced Chicago’s 30 degree temperatures with deep-soul sighs. Though we’d dressed for this weather, when harsh, uncomfortable air hit our faces, it brought a longing ache to our spirits. We’d left South Heaven to come home because South Heaven wasn’t where we lived.
The inverse is true for our life with God. Even as another Holy Week ends in harsh, uncomfortable “weather”, our Baptismal clothing prepares us for the stark reality of the cross. While Jesus’ death leaves’ our spirits aching and with deep soul-sighs, and we leave South Heaven to follow Jesus to the grave we know that, forgiven through Christ, a different Heaven is prepared to be our home.
My family’s time in South Heaven was limited. With God’s heaven the inverse is true. Following Jesus to the cross, we find our own crosses born away. Redeemed and loved, we find that we are at home in God’s healing, protective grace. In three days everything changed. This is where we live. It is good to come home.
Prayer: Lord, as we walk through these dark days, lift our crosses and make us see that forgiven and restored, our home is in You. –Amen
Deaconess Valerie Webdell, Valparaiso, IN